Invitation to Journey into Lichen Layering

, Fabulation for Future

Cette expérience méditative — en anglais — vous invite à explorer les qualités symbiotiques particulières des lichens à travers votre propre corps.

As a lichen, you live on different surfaces. Your favourite substrates are rocks, tree bark, or soils, but you also like stranger places like corroded metal. For this experiment, you as lichen live on a rock.

Imagine now a medium-sized rock. What colour is it? As a lichen, you don’t like direct sunlight too much, so this rock is in a slightly shaded space.

Sense now how you as lichen are on this rock. Feel the texture of the rock beneath you. The layer directly connecting you with the rock is your fungal part. The fungal strands provide the structure for your lichen body. Sense how through your fungal strands, you as lichen root without having roots. Only tiny hairlike growths called hyphae or rhizines help you stay in place.

The second layer, or your inner part, is the green algae. It provides food for you as lichen through photosynthesis. Sense how you as algae plant transform carbon into sugar to feed the symbiotic becoming, and how your fungi part uses the sugars to maintain your joint physiology, to grow, and to reproduce.

Your third lichen component are bacteria, cyanobacteria, which also provide food through photosynthesis. As cyanobacteria, your special job is to transform nitrogen gas from the atmosphere into the kind of nitrogen which your fellow lichen layers, the fungus and algae can use for growth. Sense into this ongoing biochemical bubbling.

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