I’ve had it on my mind now to write a book for a while… 0f all the wild and bright ideas… the doors of opportunity fly open for mushrooms… a field guide to Colorado Mushrooms… Mushrooms of the South West? I’m settling on a field guide to mushrooms?
Although it’s concept is still taking shape, I’m undoubtedly stoked. For whatever reason, at this point in time nothing inspires me more than mushrooms – accept possibly: women, bicycles and philosophical discussions… I relish to live and looking for fungi in the forest. Moving slowly, intently listening for where they will next reveal themselves. I’m hooked. Passionately.
Through actively studying edible and medicinal plants in the South Western United States, I was introduced to wild fungi and the scientific realm of mycology. Four used mushroom guides sit on my coffee table, three more coming in the mail. Early in the morning while I wait for the tea kettle to sing, I flip through their worn pages. Pondering contribution, and what it means to give, and what it means to give your work. Your best work.
I’m a 25 year old, self-employed artist. A highly skilled laborer dependent on projects that feed my body as well as my soul. Although I have clients that I love to work with, I don’t have anyone standing over my shoulder telling me what to do… thus I must rely on my own heart for both creative direction and drive. I savor good projects: well designed with good intentions, that take me places and leaves me with skills I would not have gained otherwise, that sets me on a course to dramatically expand my community, my artistic portfolio and my knowledge of the natural world. Not to mention the face value of enacting the project itself. The act of reaching out for help, the act of sharing something beautiful and functional… that meets a need… that helps open hearts, minds and eyes to the world we are here visiting. A project that may help us be better relatives to the natural world. The individual experiences that will take place as this project unfolds. The challenges and corresponding opportunities that will present themselves… Oh yeah, and this whole idea of contribution, generating and sharing knowledge, insight and passion. Helping “those” who are not given a voice, to speak more loudly. “Those” being a few thousand species of single celled organisms called fungi.
Logistics are begging to get rolling. I’m building contact lists, starting to create a budget that will accurately manifest a quality publication and possibly some techy digital applications for the next generation of mushroom advocates, citizen scientists, and woodsy folk who like having their feet and hands in the dirt. E-mailing old college friends now pursuing PhD’s, reaching out to find the right people to help me accomplish the task of writing a book on something I know relatively little about. I’ve talked with a few community members and friends this week asking how to further immerse myself in the bizarre, yet very friendly realm of mycology, and mycologists (those who study fungi), and so far, have gotten resounding support.
If this enthusiasm is continued to be reflected, some really neat things may happen…