Thoughts while studying fermentation   2 comments

Take away the caps and we all become common nouns
joined, broken apart….

I’m suddenly passionate about fermented foods –
bread, cheese, pickles…

How did I overlook for so long that the yummiest foods are decomposition products —
Which I will soon be myself.

Bob told me of the moment, at his grandma’s funeral, when he got it:
He wanted, wildly wanted, to steal away her body, save it from the molds, when suddenly, blindingly, saw that it would be her own bacteria, her friendly flora, that had kept her going 103 years, who would feast on her, a big party, procreate, and go on…. and he thought, OK!, and he decided, and I have too, not to be cremated, because he wanted to allow the big party to go on.

I keep drawing things with my new drawing app, forms emerging from the darkness; I don’t  know if it’s inner sapce or outer space, underground or under water,  I search for wild and wilder forms, squiggly and wiggly, striped, dotted, with and without spines.  What’ll it be?!!!

My “singularity” is almost surely a countable number of days away
so it’s with very personal interest that I study decomposition and fermentation

It started with Bob, also with Nancy, who is 86, becoming obsessed with making salt-rising bread.  She’s hanging around the kitchen to see if she can lure the right kind of organism into her crock of white corn meal not two hours from the mill.

Like gazing intently at the sky
to discern the presence of a traveling stranger

Won’t you come in?

Like Abraham to the angels that then heralded Sarah’s improbable pregnancy

I’m surprised to find myself in the company of the SETI crowd, not exactly searching for extra-terrestrial life, but sensing with excitement the dark places full of unexpected lifeforms, as unexpected as “I” am.

I’ve read about spores, protected, in their jackets, from cold and heat and radiation, and, I think: take off your jackets —- who knows what you may turn into?


2 responses to “Thoughts while studying fermentation

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  1. So many of us are fungiphiles – even unawares. Things like going to the Fungus Fair, seeing a Paul Stamets talk, or thinking about the ZERI notions of getting the Five Kingdoms/Kindoms working in harmony remind us of the pervasiveness and importance of these oft-neglected cousins. When I talk about bio-utilization and biomimicry, I tell my students about the fungi, who together with the ants, are the champions of interspecies cooperation.

    When you mentioned SETI, it called to mind that other, more basic Kindom of Life, the bacteria. As my space-minded colleagues search for life from elsewhere, some realized that the first life on Earth, one of the Archaea, those early prokaryotes, might actually have been extraterrestrial. It’s possible that life first evolved somewhere far from here, and in their tough cases survived the cold and radiation of hard vacuum in a travel across light years, landing here (and maybe on Mars, and Europa, and Titan, and lots of other places) with the explosive crash of some comet or meteor, a billion tiny seeds from elsewhere scattered among the stars, finding new planets to impregnate with the most embryonic and simple of lifeforms, thence to evolve into billions of miraculous new things. This notion is called panspermia, and though it sounds farfetched, it may be just as plausible as life originating here on its own.

  2. What a vibrant, jumping, bouncing, living, dancing, alive, almost edible artwork you have created, out of the blackness underneath it.
    Do you have a large pixel version of it? I want to get it printed to post over my desk.
    Have you seen the article about the fermentation food movement in the Nov 22 issue of the New Yorker. Absolutely fascinating, almost like your post realized such ideas were in the air. You would be intrigued by it and slightly horrified, I think. But our participation in the world of fermentation is intriguingly horrifying. Still the closer we come to it, perhaps the more we slip-stream into it.

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