mycelium & marbles

Last Monday's meeting turned out to be a good opportunity to re-connect with or meet like-hearted colleagues working in various aspects of health care. We only had time to just begin to hear about what people are doing and thinking and imagining, so what will be more interesting to me will be to see how the conversation is continued. 

An image I've absorbed from my friend, super-catalytic network weaver Susan Partnow, to describe these sorts of get-togethers is that they are akin to the fruiting bodies (otherwise known as "mushrooms") of the vast and singular mycelium noticing and becoming aware of themselves as One Self. Geographically distant individual mushrooms are the aboveground organs of intricate, fully entwined-into-the-earth, vast underground organisms.

Which cosmologically brilliant, mountain-man mushroom scientist Paul Stamets describes on his website as "the earth's internet"

So, all of us fruiting bodies have now seen each other and begun to sense that we're all doing varied aspects of one work. Part of our conversation was about how we can contribute to the larger conversation about health care, how we can "shift the cultural paradigm of healing". At this point, changing paradigms sounds lofty, and so much about changing someone else (Them, Out There). 

What I can do, maybe, is to practice paying attention to the world view I come from in my own work in my own small area, to continue to listen and speak up whenever the conversation arises, and at the same time to support as I can the work of colleagues who operate more at the state, federal and global levels. Again, drawn to the image of underground roots with their tiny, delicate, root hairs that can eventually penetrate, open, and change the structure of rock and cement.

Before going to Monday's meeting, I thought to bring my journal to take notes in, since my perimenopausal memory is more like a sieve than ever - but I couldn't find it. Like the elderly Lost Boy in the movie Hook who had literally lost his marbles (but who touchingly found them at the end!), losing my journal felt like losing my mind. Luckily, I had left it at a meeting at our friend Carolyne's apartment building (even though I was sure I had it when I left) and her kind neighbor found it and now I've got it back. 

More evidence for the way that aspects of our minds and hearts and selves live and move and pour together out in the wide world, and back into the wide world in "here". Zen teacher Joan Sutherland writes in the March 2005 issue of Shambhala Sun:

"Perhaps, after all, we shouldn't take our lives so personally, shouldn't think of them as the monologue of busy and insistent and separate selves. Perhaps we are made up of landscapes and events and memories and genetics; of the touch of those we hold dear, our oldest fears, the art that moves us, and those sorrows on the other side of the world that make us weep at the breakfast table. The astronomer Carl Sagan used to say that if you really want to make an apple pie from scratch, you have to start with the Big Bang."
Like waves on the ocean, like mushrooms popping out of the ground, at the same time particular and none other than the whole.