Donnerstag, 17. September 2015

That scent of autumn is in the air... valar morghulis!

 Oh yes, it is here. Still the leaves are green and the trees bear their flesh, but all too soon wild storms will bring in death and sleep to all living things. But for now the secret life sprouts from the dark; the mighty roots flourish from deep, deep down. For it is in the darkness they weave root to root and deed to deed. There is no tree  but forest, and there is not a mushroom, but one mycelium. Like to the growth of crystals it flourishes secretly in the dark; and when winter cometh, it sprouts forth its fruit of twilight.
 Cauliflower fungus (sparassis crispa, in German: Krause Glucke) waiting for harvest... haven´t seen one for ages! Was not quite sure, and it was still so tiny, so I left it be.
 Other ´shrooms were not so lucky. And it is funny, for the boletus in the picture seems to be a friend of mine. Each and every year I come round the place where it lives and cut the mushroom off, and it´s always a kind of ritual to make a stew from it, sometimes, when it´s bigger than now, from it alone, and sometimes with other boletus and bay boletus. I try my best to make the best dish I can from it and take my time relishing in it. This time it was a ragout:

I took one handful of bacon, one shallot, one piece of garlic and chopped it finely. I added some tomato paste as big as a hazelnut and roasted it all until golden brown. I deglazed with my homemade mead, added one big bay boletus and my little friend chopped into slices, some allspice, clove, one bay leaf, (in this case) ritual salt (which I mined myself in an ancient Celtic mine in Hallstatt, Austria, pepper and just a hint of cinnamon (pray don´t overdo it!), and coriander leaves. I ate it with fresh handmade grey rye bread and butter.

Anyway, I had a fairly good harvest, and all of the time I wondered of the mystery of the mycelium. Look, every year the same mushroom, always slightly different, but still the same root brings forth another fruit. You cannot see the root most of the year. But if you could look underground you would be terrified how far it reaches. Mist rises up and brings up the scent of the strong, old soil, growing ever richer with every year of decay that is piled, one layer up and over another, years and years and metres of dark, fertile earth. High do they rise, those old trees, and the treetops sing a song in the racing wind; winter cometh, they cry.
 My trail went on. I collected some spruce and fir resin for varnish and medicinal purposes.
 For a cough syrup take one grain resin, one part ribwort, one part thyme, one part sage, one part origanum vulgaris, one teaspoon curcuma, one tablespoon lemon juice, and fill up with three parts honey. Heat it up gently and fill into vacuum jars. Use one tablespoon and take three times a day. You can also fill it up with hot elderberry syrup and hot water as a precaution.

On I went on my merry way. All was silent, and I really took in the fragrant forest air and my heart became stilled. By the trailside lay this bone, presumeably of a roe deer, and remembered me that autumn also is the season of the dying and the hunt.
At a hut beside the trail I rested and simply listened to the wind and the rustling of leaves. A squirrel made a cache just two metres away from me. It looked at me, anxiously, but also curiously. Then it came even nearer, until it sat right at my feet. I held my breath and was still as a stone, until it went on its merry way. I sipped my tea and watched the birds, the mouse and the tiny birds all busy with their preparations for winter.
I was happy, and still, and the green world once again gave me a sense and feeling of purpose that I dearly miss in the world of man. Often I simply would like to shake my fellow humans and yell at them to just SEE, when all they do is LOOK. But if we could see, we would see that it is all that much more simple. I daresay the divine is either laughing or crying constantly at our stupidity; we want to live on eternally, a life with no ups and downs, with no hurt and no surprises. But I ask you: How boring would that be? We fear death, and righteously so, but where is the point to wish idly that we would live on forever? And a life like a parody, as we are doomed to do by this our society? Mammon promised we could have safety and no surprises. We paid him with our dreams, with our passion and love, and in turn he gave us glittering junk. And turned our love into lust, our love into greed, our passion into hate and fear, our sensuality into nymphomania, our loyalty into philistinism. He took our longing and yearning to turn into consumerism. Machines do the thinking and dreaming for us, and every little action is becoming more and more complex to us that we seek consiliation in a dream world created by the almighty machinery that is our society, or even worse, in escapism, so much in fact that our life is a mere waiting for the end while slaving for the master.

All the while the truth is so much simpler. All the while the truth is so obvious.

A silent song. A squirrel preparing for winter. A creek and the wind filling a heart with music.
And a path that leads yonder hill and dale to somewhere we don´t know.

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