Let's Be Like Our Fungi & Lichen Friends

Lichen dyes. Oooohhh ahhhhhhh!
They staged a forest setting, with real mushrooms! The one on the left dyes beautiful hues of warm orange and yellow.
This beautiful shade is extracted from a rare lichen
Wool dyed with mushrooms by a local spinner, creator. I resisted buying them!

The San Francisco Mycological Society has been holding their Annual Fungus Fair since the 70's! What captured the show for me were the few exhibits of mushroom and lichen dyes. To be clear, lichen are not mushrooms. They’re separate, distinct organisms that live symbiotically with mushrooms – beautiful relationships.

The dyes that can be achieved with lichens are captivating, and precious. Lichen can only be collected from the ground, off fallen branches or withered off a rock surface; never, ever peel it off a tree or rock! NEVER EVER!

Lately, my heart has been heavy with raw injustice domestically and abroad. Tea has really helped to calm and soothed my spirit. Feeling beat and tired from the emotion and tension that’s in the air? One to two cups daily of the following humble tea helped me...

2 parts chamomile
1 part nettle leaf
1 part roses

Add anything else that calms you (e.g. bit of lavender buds).

A small action that has great magnitude is simply to speak up when you hear or see injustice happening. Heard a micro aggression? Be an ally, and say something! You could be the critical voice in a situation, and enlighten others or plant a seed. 

Do you follow Humans of New York? Brandon Stanton is recording some of the stories of Syrian refugees who have been admitted into the U.S. Their stories strike my heart. My parents and relatives have told me stories since I was little about enduring war in Vietnam, and traveling sometimes harrowing journeys to leave. Over 450,000 Vietnamese refugees were provided citizenship in the United States.

I am so grateful for the Orderly Departure Program. I wouldn't be here (my parents met in San Jose, CA and I was born here), and I wouldn't be a U.S. citizen if it weren't for the fact that my parents were granted asylum. So far, the United States has granted asylum for less than 4,000 Syrian refugees. Let's hope this changes, and sign any petitions that come our way!

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