Today, for the first time in a very long time, I treated myself to some “outdoor time”, no agenda, nothing to be accomplished. Eventually, I did, of course, turn it into something to be accomplished because that is what I do. I cannot help myself. I need to be busy and productive at all times. There is a little bag that I drag behind me. That bag contains a tiny voice telling me to get something done, it doesn’t matter what, but accomplish something. To be honest, there was another little voice crowding my thoughts as I wandered through the woods. That little voice was the one telling me to “be careful, be aware, look confident”. As a female alone in the woods, I am very aware that I could never fully relax.
It’s true. I actually really and truly think about the potential for danger in such situations. So I guess I should have been glad that a bunch of noisy people, with their skunky clouds cigarette smoke, yelping dogs, and their shouting showed up. Because of them, I felt safer on some level because I was less alone, and therefore, less vulnerable.
I don’t want to be too big of a bitch about it, but is it too much to ask for people to be quiet in nature? I like to be outside. When I am outside I only want to hear outside noises. People noise ruins the experience. Such things as the ridiculous “fuck you” racket of your proud Harley over-compensating, your incessantly barking idiot dog, who by the way, is most certainly NOT adorable or smart, or anything but annoying. Finally, have you ever considered speaking to your children without shouting at them? Quiet, please.
This outing started when a clump of the most amazing atomic-tangerine mushrooms along the side of the road caught my eye. I was driving home from Kathy O’Connell, AKA “Katdazzle”‘s house. She is an artist friend of mine and I was helping her do some voice-over recordings for a pretty bat-shit crazy marionette puppet show she is producing about a 19th century sex cult. The Township’s Parks & Rec committee asked her to do it, and that’s a fact. Despite the source of the request, I am pretty certain that she will be run out of town when it’s over. She assures me that “everyone” in the township knows the history of “Free Love Valley”, and that it was a sex cult, and that the story cannot be told without the lurid details. I don’t know, even with puppets, this does not seem like a “family-friendly” story to me. Keep your eyes open for a “free Katdazzle” Go-fund Me page sometime after the show on November 3.
I stopped to take a few pictures of those orange mushrooms along the side of the road because they were so beautiful. I so loved looking at them, and all of the other amazing things around them. To me, the smell of fall leaves and decaying tree bark are the scent of happiness. It felt so good to be outside and without an agenda. I decided to make a stop by “the rocks” in St Peter’s Village and take a walk. This turned into “I wonder how many different mushrooms I can find?” expedition. Which then turned into “I have to take pictures of all of this amazing moss”, which morphed into “I have to document all of this because it IS SO BEAUTIFUL”! Predictably, I found a way to make the outing “productive”.
I take thousand of pictures of thousands of things that I think are beautiful. I never do anything with them. They sit in the cloud collecting heaps of virtual dust. Despite that, I am not wasting my time because these things make me SO happy. But not this time, I am sharing my pictures with you. My virtual collection of Pennsylvania mushrooms as seen on a dreary October afternoon.
Non-creatives always ask me “where do you get all of your ideas”? Well, here for one place. If you shut your mouth, put down your phone, and opened your eyes for two seconds you might see a fraction of what I am having the time of my life admiring. Perhaps, you might even be inspired to write a snarky blog about it.