Aside from the fact that it’s always nice to give a beloved artist like Bjork pride of place right at the beginning of a mix, and aside from the fact that, flow-wise, an a cappella track without lyrics can function as a kind of overture for the rest of the songs to come, I also wanted to put “Mycelia” right up front on my Best of 2022 mix because I wanted to honor the fact that, well, mushrooms changed my life this year.
And no, I’m not even talking about psilocybin. (Well, not exclusively.)
2022 didn’t start on the greatest foot, for a number of reasons. I went into January already stressed, and the stress only continued to mount for the whole first half of the year. I’ll spare you the play by play. But I truly believe the mushrooms came to my aid in February so that the second half of the year could be queued up to finally bring some much needed relief.
Part of the stress was due to the fact I’d been trying to find a new job for a while, but despite some promising leads, nothing had come to fruition–until a publishing company that I didn’t even realize I’d been following on Instagram put up a post announcing that they were hiring a new book editor.
As I investigated the position, the positive signs kept mounting: the company was based in Santa Fe (a city I’d fallen in love with on a visit in 2008) but were OK to bring someone on 100% remote; they were publishing books on topics that have become close to my heart, like psychedelics, consciousness, spirituality, permaculture, and Indigenous ways of being and knowing; they’re woman-run; and they were looking to actively grow their program in ways that sync up with my skill set. It seemed like exactly the kind of gig I’d been, well, honestly praying to find. How did things line up so perfectly? Then I remembered: the mushrooms.
I dimly recalled having entered one of those giveaways on social media where you have to follow a certain selection of accounts, and they were mostly brands that make healing tinctures and powders with medicinal mushrooms. But, yes, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, one of the other accounts in the round-up was the publishing company with the job opening. So, I just happened to have started following them right before they advertised the position, and I just happened to have noticed the post in my feed when I was aimlessly scrolling around one night in the winter darkness.
The whole process was eerily seamless. It had that true “being moved around the chessboard” feeling, as Gordon White of Rune Soup calls it, when you’re in a state of flow with the more-than-human world. And I just . . . I just knew it was the intelligence of Mushrooms taking my feeble little human consciousness into their care and helping whisk me off in a direction where everything was going to be OK despite the myriad stresses I was still marinating in at the time.
I sent in my resume at the end of February, had a job offer by early May, and officially started with the company on June 1.
So when, later in the summer, I was out for a walk listening to Fossora for the first time, it felt extra significant when I looked down at my iPhone to check the name of this song only to see that it was, of course, called “Mycelia.”
Thank you, Mushrooms. Thank you.