Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Transforming "Spiritual Warfare": Day 28 (Maine)

Acadia, N.P., Maine. Photo borrowed from a personal (& very private) friend.

Maine. I have visited this quiet, northern landscape more than once & would do it again in a heartbeat. I love it, but I've always believed there was no way I could ever actually live there -- it is just too cold. 

Now I live in Alaska.

My extended family has a section of coastal property near Boothbay upon which sits the original homestead of my great, great grandfather. There he kept his lobster pound, raised his family & made his living in a very different world. Many years later, the house was inhabited by my ancient & cantankerous great, great aunt Meems. During the summer before I began college, my mother, sister & I spent time in the little old house beside the beach, visiting with its saucy & formidable matriarch. I have many memories -- so many that they would require an entry of their own to treat properly. With this in mind, I will keep focused on the project at hand, setting aside the tales of breakfast vodka, bacon fat thievery, tiaras & throwing games of gin rummy. What is important here is that I have a potent link. It makes the work much easier.

Perhaps it is a wee bit with tongue-in-cheek that I chose "Lobster Mushrooms" as my fungi du jour, but not entirely. My experience in Maine visiting the home of my ancestors centered on lobster; historical lobsters & the lobsters in the neighborhood at that time. Like all my other Maine-related reminiscences, there are too many lobster memories to account for in a post dedicated to remediating someone else's messy prayer war. The theocrats have three days left in their siege, yet I find myself trailing behind at day 28 of 51 in the cleanup. Therefore, I must bypass the lobster tales in the interest of both relevance & expedience.

Courtesy WikiCommons.
The Lobster mushroom is a weird one because what is actually happening is a fungi-on-fungi parasitic situation. Hypomyces lactifluorum is a fungus from the same phylum as those lovely ebony cups featured in my last post. But H. lactifluorum is unusual because it colonizes only certain species of Milk Caps & Russulas, forming an incredible, bright-orange, crunchy sheath over their entire exposed exterior surface. It hastily engulfs them with this vivid, pimply "shell" leaving them looking very much like certain shellfish popularly associated with Maine. According to connoisseurs, the mushrooms being parasitised (frequently Russula brevipes & Lactarius piperatus) are significantly improved as edibles by this otherwise compromising dynamic. Apparently, the end result is a firm, dense, fleshy fungus which tastes very much like shellfish. This strikes me as being akin to a case of spontaneous sympathetic magick occurring in the natural world -- strange how that works, isn't it?

My approach to cleanup is slightly roundabout this time, given that I am working with a parasitic fungus growing on a mycorrhizal fungus -- not exactly part of the plan. I'm angling for a chain-like support system for processing negativity out of the atmosphere. The trees, primarily deciduous, can breathe in the odium-laden air, passing the negative energies on to the mushrooms; their symbionts & support team. Then, the tree-loving russulas & milky caps will pass on the negativity to the H. lactifluorum to parasitize, culminating in a colourful, crunchy & presumably tasty ending. 

Hypomyces lactifluorum. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Make Love where there was war.

Absorb subversive auras.

Inter pernicious prayers.

Negate dominionist notions.

End it all in exquisite edibility.

... in the name of Maine (& Meems), so mote it be.

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