Acidic. The pH balance is off. This scares me. Is it my dependency? I’m angry. I want to enjoy my morning. Restrictions. Limitations. Expectations. The right conditions. Alkaline.
Is it me? Have I done something wrong? Why I am weak? Why not her? I observe my body from within, monitoring the growth of cells. Regeneration. Restoration. Nature-based solutions. Are these solutions? Biological continuity amid emotional truncation. Adjuvants.
The loupe is active.
Is it always? Is immunity a conscious act? Or is involuntary? How much can I do? Do less.
Keep an eye out. Go for a walk. Just breathe. Rest. I can’t do this alone. I need your recognition. I need your wit. My mind is crippled, no coupled. The yeast grows, budding and shmooing. I tried to keep it at bay, but that one dark brew fucked me up. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK.
I growled at mother. Her loose and naïve nature irritates me. My body once inside her now floats free, but there is an invisible tether that yanks at my core every time I feel we diverge. My belly button is a birth scar.
I growled at son. Is the day entirely lost? Have I left an indelible scar? Are offspring part of oneself? Is oneself forever tied to the mother of the mother? Is the scar of the belly an embryological phantom limb that can never be severed?
Something has got to give.
What must I give up? I?
Is it always about this? Surrender. Ceasing to do what desire desires?
Annulment of consciousness cements what is loose in the sand. The conditions express opportunity. Should hyphae arrange into a primordium for spores and sexual reproduction? Should we combine genes? Or should we just remain in an asexual cycle of long-lasting life? Are offspring part of oneself?
I’ve grown strict. She called me hysterical and all I could see were the bodies of women contorting in Charcot’s clinic. Agonizing under the male gaze. I swallowed. We are oppressed oppressors and I can’t stop feeling that my foot is telling me something, but what? He calls me a bad mother and I feel the weight of millions of depressed mothers’ lives, thwarted and curtailed from individuation. Bárbara once told me that the greatest threat to biodiversity (life) is unwanted motherhood. Procreation is not the same as creativity.
Save me. Separation from the physical with no emotional remnant, please.
I dance. I dance harder. I don’t want to lose an organ. Some bodies create new ones. I’m attaching myself to you. You’re attached to someone else. We breathe. We know nothing of co-care. An ecosystem. Functional or dysfunctional. Intertwined pulsating notions of the unchangeable. Scale. Look up or look down. Do both in a day evoking a vague notion of repetitive reflection. I remember looking at the ceiling with Cecilia at your house. She cried and cried for her mother. I comforted her like a mother. Wiped away waterfalls of hot tears. Dancing had expressed them. She feels her body. It dawned on me right then and there that I only feel my body when it hurts. I said it aloud. Is this still true?
I used the word co-care yesterday and it made a splash. Pelin asked me to say more about it and I referred to the Spanish word comadre. A not so distant relative to comrade. I’m not sure I could mother your son, but I can tend to some parts of you that mother him. Is that enough? Do you need more?
I could give you my son in comadrazgo, but do you realize that this notional proposition may be cruel in existence. Graft a problem. Is it really on us to find a better outlook from within? Is it shitty that I don´t meditate enough? That I see no humans for weeks? That I’m not seeking the balance everyone else seems to be? That I go to the doctor to decipher the language of my body. Acidic. The pH is off.
You are savage. You’ve seen, heard, and named Amanita galactica.
In my dreams,
I saw the Pleiades play. They frolicked in the night sky.
Gag reflex, I’m about to vomit.
My eyes sting and two liquid drops have formed at each tear duct. But first my throat itched and then my nose tickled. It all happened very suddenly. Hormonal reactivity? Chemistry? Did floating yeast enter my nasal cavity? Is it now inside my brain? This, a chemical reaction, changes everything forever.
A black hole sucks in previous notions of reality. Do you even remember how it was before? Every occurrence leaves a space trace, a belly button.
Tell me more about the dark? Will we know each other when we die? Will you die first or me? Can we make a pact or is that demonic? Demonic? I’m listening to Moor Mother and their voice soothes my recent anxiety. I’m looking out at the volcanoes and it all seems petty, but it is real. Right? As real as ballistoconida discharge and as subtle as the condensation of a tiny droplet of water on an asymmetrical spore that produces the most rapid shot in nature. Yes, from a mushroom – our ancestral commons.
This morning I had to take a pill to appease the herpes virus inside my body. It likes to bubble on my lips and generate sores that make my vulnerability, my weakness, my sickness visible. It makes me unkissable, monstrous… even if just for a week or two. I can’t hide what I fear.
I don’t eat cake regularly. I’m disgusted by the pig fat used as the baking oil. I see the massacred pig and I’m uncertain about what to ingest. I stop learning. I digest slowly. Is my garden lacking fertilizer? I don’t want to sprout things, nor ferment them. I want to be a hunter-gatherer that doesn’t have to deal with plates. But what to do about the cold? Cold sores. Re-volution. Such a deep desire for unconsciousness. Does automization work? Does the word exist? There are ways in which I’ve cultivated my otherness, and then I still participate in the norm of Netflix watching utopias. Damn. Close your eyes. DO IT. I love you.
Here’s a different kind of ballot:
1. Stop mining.
2. De-privatize water.
(you add the next two) and without knowing what they’ll be, I choose all five. Priorities are prejudices in disguise.
I cowrote a text that I recently re-read and you’re in it. I used your initials and mention your autoimmune condition. I narrate how earlier this year I became you. It happened while hopping from rock to rock; tensegrity I call it. I don’t like the way the designers laid it out on the page and after so much editing the language is contorted and not mine, but there is that one word. Symphasizing. It’s Nina word. Symphasizing.
Sympathy has two contrary meanings. (Do you also emit a loud sigh?) Pity and commonality. How fucking uncomfortable.
Can someone hold me so I can crumble? Please. Please.
Anyways, “to feel within” in an embodied sense is how I meant to be using the word. A word that isn’t a word. A word that is a shared space. A fractured appendage. A fungal infection. A bloated belly. A gray hair. A rotting stink. A lightness of touch. A walking alongside each other as a crutch. A drug. A white mycelial tendril of fascial proportion. Tactile mnemonics. Lies. Letters. Ambitions.
These reflections are timeless. They symbolize a whole cup of upsetting coffee, as well as a whole day of acid reflux. A whole lifetime of subdued existence and a single moment of indelible truth. Trapped in the body. Trapped in the role. Daughter. Mother. Soul. Longing for release. Has the Universe abandoned me? Was it ever its role to sustain me?
The feline keeps the reptile alive to train and perfect. The reptile loses limbs to endure the relationship. It plays dead but eventually has to re-awaken from playing. Does it have a greater understanding now? NOW. One life for another. Mine for yours? For yours? For theirs? Us as one. Yours as mine. Ours. Using the no way as the way. Can we separate the hyphae from the insect once symbiosis is set in? If a fungus sustains its life on the energy generated in my body, is it mine? If one species cannot be considered “living” independently from another, is it an other? Neither without the other. Kingdom Dysphoria. Dependencies.
Text by Camila Marambio and Giuliana Furci
Camila Marambio is organic. They are a curator, a private investigator, an amateur dancer, a doctor, a sporadic writer, and an ecosexual, for today.
Giuliana Furci is a field mycologist and foundress & CEO of the Fungi Foundation. She is a Harvard University Associate and Dame of the Order of the Star of Italy.