Fungi are the resting place of life, the destination that delivers nutrients to that which comes after. It is the door between the living and the dead.
The decomposition. The final exhale. There is a sacred balance that exists between the rotten and the reborn, one cannot exist without the other. Fungi are the catalysts of this transformation. Birthing life from death. Redistributing information, nutrients, minerals, water. This transformation is of utmost importance for all human kin to tune into and understand, given the actual context of our species’ impact on the environment due to predation, deforestation, continued extraction of fossil fuels, rising carbon emissions and global warming.
Fungi are the relatives that hold the key for this equilibrium to be restored. Fungi secrete enzymes that can break down complex organic compounds like carbohydrates and proteins into simpler components with the release of energy. These fungal decomposers, alongside their saprobic bacterial allies, absorb only a small amount of these nutrients and energy for their own use. Thus, the remainder of energy and materials are absorbed by the surrounding soil, air and water. This role within the ecosystem is vital for the recycling of nutrients into the larger community. Without the symbiotic activity of fungi and bacteria all the essential inorganic nutrients from dead animals and plants would be unavailable for use by other organisms. Life as we know it would cease to exist.
The underlying importance of decomposition is as vast as the expansive nature of mycelium under fertile soils of old growth forests. However, these old growth forests unfortunately are becoming numbered. Without steadfast protection of these ancient ecosystems in different parts of the world many critical species of fungi will be lost within a decade. This understanding is a direct call to action. We must defend the process of death. Now more than ever, we have the responsibility to protect the sacred balance of our more-than-human communities. We must adhere to the sensible advice of Furci, we must let things rot.