24.10.11

Mushrooms, ecology, death.




































Out of the blue last week I got a tweet about a link to "mushroom/eco/death." It came from @BloomingSuz one of the brightest, breeziest tweeters going, but the whole thing looked so weird and the thought that this might be some kind of twitter virus actually crossed my mind.....

I had been perusing the mushroom world recently, as I know very little about them, and this seemed to be an uncanny coincidence. We are all so programmed to recoil, trained from childhood to fear their sometimes fatal impact. So naturally I assumed that the link about mushroom /eco/ death would be some other doomsday warning about eating the wrong mushroom, but strangely it turned out to be about the right mushroom eating us! 

It was a link to a wonderful short TED talk about ecological burials, about cultivating a chemically neutralising mushroom which will turn us and our mercury fillings into organic compost, about acceptance and responsibility even in death and about minimising our footprint on our fragile eco system.  Not to put to fine a point on it and without in anyway meaning to be disrespectful Jae Rhim Lee alerts us to the toxic nature of corpses, usually laden with chemical embalming fluids and then buried or burned thus adding to our pollution overload.

Just the way we recoil from mushrooms we also recoil from death and don't think about it until it is literally too late. I know that @BloomingSuz and myself both had a similar reactions...SIGN ME UP NOW! 

I hope this is not too gruesome for you to think about......  I even had a mushroom omelette for lunch, and it was no problem...... life goes on. While we are here, let's enjoy it, but when we die , let's do it with some humility, and some connection with the earth and future generations who can benefit from our thoughtfulness, as Jae Rhim Lee says, it's dust to dust anyway......




See the talk for yourself Jae Rhim Lee




21 comments:

  1. Fabulous post, the cycle of life ~ we all return to the earth one way or another and then life is born again ~ like that it's pollutant free(and agree @Bloomingsuz tweeter extraordinaire!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the post, and you & Greenside Up are making me blush :-) As always, wonderful wonderful photos from yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gorgeous fungi pictures - can't really say I have ever thought about the impact my death could have on the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fungi are the ultimate recyclers. Thanks for the link. Karen

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lepiej zbierać grzyby tylko jadalne ( trzeba je znać), niż myśleć o śmierci jedząc je :-(. Pozdrawiam

    ReplyDelete
  6. When I look at the mushrooms and the little critters on the side bar, I feel as if I am looking at my own blog. Funny that we are so far apart with different climates, yet having many similar items to capture and some similar thoughts as well...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh I loved this! Such a great alternative. I don't know if you have access to a television series called "Six Feet Under" but it makes great points about green burials. I remember going with my family to the mortuary when my dad died. We went to the basement. There was awful music, and open coffins for sale. I felt sick and had to leave. I can't abide that industry, where they salvage the gold from your teeth after the cremation. (Forgive my raving please.) In short, mushrooms rock.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, fascinating! I've definitely never thought of that before!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting post and amazing photos. i love the taste of mushroom!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is interesting - all is ecological and we all have bits and pieces of recycled bits of stardust from each other (and our bacterial, plant and animal cousins and brothers) in us. Oddly enough, was thinking on Saturday how I do mushrooms the courtesy of not eating them while I am on this planet, but they won't (happily) return the favour when I expire.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great - thanks for the link too, food for thought!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Interesting post...., with real perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The mushrooms can process mercury fillings? I'll have a cardboard coffin under a tree. Mushrooms welcome, but I'm glad I was about to eat some ;~(

    ReplyDelete
  14. Could'nt agree more! In India I saw the burning of bodies. It is done in a very dignified way. There's just too many people there to bury them but anyway that's not their tradition. Ashes to ashes...dust to dust.

    ReplyDelete
  15. When I think of death as a the circle of life, as a spiritual experience, I am completely comfortable with the idea. However, when I think of it as an end to my current physical life, it can be frightening and painful. This is often my dilemma with most profound thoughts and questions. I vacillate between the physical and the spiritual. I am hoping that one of the things that will come with age is a narrowing of the gap.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have often said I wanted to be buried naturally, with my body returning to earth as it should, not embalmed and stuck in a metal vault to slowly turn to slime over the ages. I have been told however, that our state requires a vault. I'm not sure if that's true. I will have to research it. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I don't really want to think about it right now, but I could probably get my head around this alright. It makes sense x

    ReplyDelete
  18. All of your responses have been so interesting. Overall I would say that people are very open to these ideas but maybe have never thought about it
    before. I think when it comes to making decisions about how we will be buried, unless we make provision in our wills, these decisions will be made by undertakers with everything that involves. Is it easier for the gardeners among us to accept compost as our future I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Food for thought in more ways than one :-)

    ReplyDelete
  20. It is so easy just to do something because that's the way its always been. But perhaps it is time for people to think differently about this.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi!A very nice serie.
    The pictures are reallyy good.

    Bye

    ReplyDelete

A big thank you for all of your comments, each and every one is much appreciated. Please use the contact page if you have questions that require a response, or if like some people you are blocked from commenting here. I will always reply.