Fall is when the mushrooms blossom


So is the spring and summer and winter. But returning home after a summer of travels finds me looking for friendly fungus. These cinnabar-red chanterelles (cnatharellus cinnabarinus) - tiny flowers of decay - anticipate the brilliant colors of the forest that will soon surround them.

To be human is to seek meaning - perhaps one of the hallmarks of great art is the degree to which it greases the neural pathways to form byways of understanding. A vast network of paths from symbol to interpretation, variously well-trodden and faint, all relevant by nature of their existence.

Chanterelles are mycorrhizal fungi, which means they form a symbiotic relationship with the plants around them - transferring essential minerals from decaying organic matter while receiving photosynthesis-derived food they cannot make. They are also part of a dense communication system that facilitates the transfer of carbon between trees, even those of different species! Living here in the swirling grind of New York City I find solace in their existence - they are a testament to the success of a resource-sharing network wherein coexistence and diversity are in fact the thriving and dominant model, lifting me out of the conceptual trap of scarcity-assumed competition.

Maybe art is like the fruiting body of these little chanterelles. Bright focal points sprung from a thick mat of intertwining perspectives, conscious, unconscious, cherished, repressed. Jewels strung on so many mycelial filaments by which we share mind carbon and access social, emotional, and intellectual nutrients.