Came across some noxious mushrooms in a square space bordered by a road, a track, a car park and a little grass patch, in between colonial and pre-colonial markers on the ancient songline of the banks of the river, just close to where the dunes tumble and hug the river and hide the sea from view. That was a long sentence. I didn’t want to break it up. It deserves to be said in one breath. Feels like there are too many breaks and the continuity and connectivity of place has way too many interruptions. I wouldn’t have known if the mushroom was poisonous or not, but one of the people I was with knew, she had plenty of foraging experience handed down from generations and lives close to the land. Her land, she is a traditional owner. I was thinking about this blog and mycelium and all the connectivity between the place, the people, the stories, the river, the sea, the land and the sky. In the place that looked the least loved, there was the mushroom, inedible.
All the fibres invisibly holding and making soil underfoot, foundations for now and the future. And this mushroom has centre stage, fruit of the past popping up as an organic reminder of what lies beneath the surface. I couldn’t help but draw the bow back and think of how the mycelium of toxic keyboard warriors who from their dark spaces and in the practice of the dark arts of fear and fakery are popping up where I can see them in the full light of day. I’ve had swirling around me another season of scuttle buck. The fibres are connecting through social media, platforms and spaces where people can be hidden with pseudonyms, where taking responsibility for what happens next, is not considered. There are those too who make the most of others misfortunes, are impatient, don’t take into account the conditions in which we find ourselves. I find these moments give us an insight into who holds privilege and who holds pain.
A very simple example of this phenomena this week was a traffic build up on the southern expressway as the result of an accident between a motor cyclist and a motorist. The collision disrupted peak hour traffic and was the subject of talk back radio for almost as long as the time people were caught in the traffic. It was a nuisance for sure, but I was shocked listening to hear very little concern for the people who were in the accident and even less for the police and emergency services who were managing the situation. We won’t always get it right and I have an expectation that everyone is doing their best. These are moments we get to see what lies underneath.
What connects us, what holds us together and what kind of fruit comes need not be aligned. We can be connected by a common story and place, we can be held together by fear, anger, joy, celebration and the fruits that come from these complex combinations might look ok on the surface, but may well be unpalatable.
Good reminder from the mushroom to take a second look, consider what filters are working in the fibrous paths to bring this message to the top.