Being Fungi

A spore adrift, hanging delicately in the air, is that me or what I give? Currents rise and fall so slight only the most fragile attest to its force. The mere drag of a leaf’s individual canopy catching air completely changes a spore’s path. Is empathy for the wild overshadowing the potential in domestication, the control and shelter? Where am I casting my efforts? 

A spore is aimless yet guided by random fortune, falling into an inhabitable puddle which drains into a ravine. A pathway is found in lieu of home. The sunlight is too bright and the water too deep, but it moves and potential will wait patiently for an adequate environment. 

I will carry myself to where I must go, I will build the place I need and am needed in.  

A spore suspended in a water droplet lands upon a shaded stump whose physics continue to draw water up through dead roots, passed on by the many hands of the dead, fingers buried in the earth. Here, hundreds of compatible spores are simultaneously germinating. In the remains of decay, new life entangles. 

Dikaryotic cells are a lesson in codependency. What I offer the world may have one body and two hearts, but I must remember my partner and I do not exist as one heart in two bodies.  Our efforts combine. Our effects combine. Aspects of our lives come together to form one relationship. We do not merge— I am not a spore. 

A spore’s first threads of life begin weaving into the textures wood grain, toward another who crawls closer. They are drawn together into cell fusion but retain two nuclei. In their species’ genetics, their twin hearts of their strain won’t fuse for several generations of mycelium. 

A spore isn’t a spore any longer. I am no longer a child. Fruitless, an established being but of vegetation, I’m not to fear taking up space. Wild beings take all they can— but they give. 

Do I fear what I offer is still undeveloped hyphae? Simple silk strands unwoven, sparse and few, when this is all I give, of course I fear taking. The balance of exchange here in a controlled, cultivated setting causes crisis in the critically, chronically injured. A distorted strain is an evolution out there where it can find an environment matched to its new strengths and weaknesses. Here has no such diversity in homes.

I am shaken, I am seeking, and to recover, I will digest the dead and shape the landscape to accept my unconventional development.

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