We called my grandmother Mimi.
Mimi used to say she’d need a nap after talking to me because I talked too fast and the topics were heavy.
I’m comfortable in heavy. It’s my happy place because I have lots of questions and I can’t find answers in the superficial stuff. Yes, sure, the weather is interesting, but WHY ARE WE HERE? Like on earth.
What happens when we DIE?
Is God real? Why or why not?
Who AM I?
Why is no one fixing paid family leave?
What happens when you trick millions of people into believing they’re not good enough?
Lately, though, we’ve OD’d on heavy. Even I’ve reached my limit. The existential threats to my business, daughter, friendships, and marriage have errored my patience and capacity. Every other week someone I love is forced to quit their job or is fighting for their rights, victimized by scumbags, and losing hope that no one is listening and nothing is going to change.
When you couple that with the Sisyphean nature of quotidian life…it’s…grim.
Which is why I’m punting my heavy posts for this week and want to tell you about enchanted wool and fungi.
A friend of mine worked with Margaret Atwood and she sent him enchanted wool. Naturally.
What is enchanted wool? I haven’t a clue, but I love that it exists.
I want to live in a world where famous authors surprise staff with magical presents.
It’s those little things that keep me going when life feels really heavy.
Which brings me to fungi.
Merlin Sheldrake’s book Entangled Life should be boring, but since fungi is the MISSING LINK FOR EVERYTHING it will blow your mind. Fungi is more like an organism than bacteria (it can problem solve and remember!!) and it’s basically (we think) how we went from inert atoms to LIFE. There are a million more fun facts in the book, but the part I wanted to tell you about has to do with a science rivalry.
Sheldrake was in South America, studying a teeny tiny plant that lives without photosynthesis and he cannot for-his-life figure out how.
Meanwhile, these Dutch scientists are there too, studying the way tropical forests store carbon, aka they were studying giant trees. And taunting Sheldrake for wasting his time with teeny tiny flowers.
So, Sheldrake turns around and mocks them in his book for their, “tree girth studies and brute ecology.” BRUTE ECOLOGY.
I love this so much. We live in a world where scientists are ball-busting each other with friendly jabs about research.
Enchanted wool and sick science burns.
Someone spends their day thinking about the fungi that lives between cells in plants. That’s their job. And they’re having fun doing it. Someone else is sending enchanted wool to an employee who will appreciate receiving it. And I get to email you to tell you about it.
There are things to smile about.
Losing hope is easy. Holding onto it is hard.
Big hugs. Times are heavy, but we need not be.
PS: The antidote to heavy is not superficial. There is lightness even in serious things. The challenge for us is to find it.
PPS: I’m doing research for a new project and I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a project or idea you’ve been meaning to start, but haven’t? I’d like to hear why, if you’re open to sharing.