Lockdown again; and we walk ‘the crags’ – then ‘the badger’ (which takes in ‘the lobby’ – Oran’s parkour practice ground – names for local routes in the woods) – with Lyra. Every day, a path near our house. And usually taking a photo. A lichen. A puppy action shot. A sunset.
As I skip back home with Oran, when he has finished hiding and sniping, I remember my conversation yesterday with Steve, who is taking a photo outside or near his house everyday as an experiment in seeing differently (drstevemarshall.com).
And for the first time in a while, I sense a route towards blogging: sharing a few pictures from these lockdown walks with my family, and seeing what words follow.
Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life arrived at Christmas. ‘Are network based life-forms like fungi and slime moulds capable of a form of cognition?’ Merlin is asking where I’ve paused – page 73 – for breath.
Like an ear-worm, I can’t stop imagining, feeling, noticing fungi everywhere, every walk, every tree, every bouncy footstep through the forest. Tripping on no drugs, the world-view Sheldrake is enmeshing me within in his writing feels unstoppable. At the moment, I’m surrendering to this book and the sense that fungal sentience is more than possible….and almost tripping on the bounce underfoot as hyphae fuse and split, have sex, form information super-highways, somehow generate mitochondrial pairings with plants whose chemical stew bathes the soil in an explosion of networked wildness ….
There is a seam in qualitative research – and action research – that takes inspiration from the mycorrhizal relationships fungi and imagines a participatory cosmology of co-researchers, growing consciousness together through curiosity, inquiry, action, hope (see for example http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar_url?url=http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download%3Fdoi%3D10.1.1.569.8038%26rep%3Drep1%26type%3Dpdf&hl=en&sa=X&ei=aV0EYNCCI5XKmAGvxJzwCg&scisig=AAGBfm27Cbyocf4xzzhrobryHjICCrksHA&nossl=1&oi=scholarr) Perhaps the fungi know more about this than we might ever have imagined…..