Diamond-Cut Life

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Being Fed By The Forest

November 8th, 2009 by Alison · 4 Comments · health & well being, lifestyle, nature, work

Blythe traipsed in late yesterday afternoon to our writing group’s opening session here at Opal Creek, living up to her name, towing with her a forest treasure that startled me into a double take. I’d never seen a cauliflower mushroom before. It was huger than a Halloween pumpkin but formed of air and a fawn-colored, fantastically lobed and wrinkled surface, like a Sasquatch-sized brain or an invertebrate creature that would wave tenderly around in the sea. It smelled earthy and forest-fresh, and its big, wildish presence dwarfed the cabin’s kitchen and put its pallid, farmed, supermarket mushroom cousins to humbled shame.

Why am I feeling so fond of the exuberantly oversized mushroom from the ancient forest? Well . . .I like that it isn’t constraining its identity, or conforming to a damned thing. The writer in me, the instinctual creative one, resonates to that. And I see that I’ve been letting my paid work in transportation options consume me, letting the job live rent-free in my mind during non-working hours like an unwelcome squatter. In contrast, I used to walk around excitedly writing, in my mind, my next post for Diamond-Cut Life. The writer in me used to be running the internal show when I wasn’t working.  As I’ve let my work crowd out my writing, my posts have dwindled. At least one faithful reader has said she misses my steadier voice.

I have a mushrooming need to be more than my paid work, much as I love my job. My writer self has gotten elbowed aside too far. It’s not quite as simple as: Oh! I need to live like the forest mushroom, big and wild, funky and unrestrained, and write like crazy. It’s not as simple as that because I’m passionate about my paid work too, and a job is a precious thing, nothing to take for granted. At the same time, I’m putting a stop to the job living rent-free in my mind when I’m not working.  No more squatting. My writer self takes charge when work is done each day.

Postscript: Blythe cooked and seasoned her beautiful monster mushroom last night with butter, wine and salt, and shared it with the rest of us, like a little communion. It was delicious. We happily ate little bowlfuls of the wild food before we walked over to Opal Creek lodge for dinner.  The forest’s fantastical mushroom fed both my body and soul.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Crafty Green poet

    That sounds like an amazing mushroom. I know what you mean about paid work. I currently have a part time job that is okay but not something I’m excited by so I can put lots of energy into my writing etc. I rarely think about work when I’m not there. However it would be really good to have a more engrossing job but when i have had that it has tended to take over to an extent. it presents a real dilemma. As my current job is a short term contract I’ll be looking for another soon and wonder whether at last I’ll be able to get the interesting job that doesn’t overflow its borders?

  • Alison

    I like the imagery of a job that doesn’t overflow its borders. At the same time, most borders have areas and instances when they are permeable. It seems to me that most of us just want some choice about how the permeability works . . . . I’m determined to regain that choice element. Warm wishes on your search for the next job that’s interesting yet not invasive!

  • alli

    This sounds like real guidance from your inner being - guidance calling you to your bliss and passion. …I look forward to reading about what this insightful moment leads you to!

  • Alisa

    I wish we were all back there again this weekend! Three cheers to your writer’s self.

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