Volume 2021 Parnassus
Letter from the Editor
The concept of mushrooms has been a strangely recurring theme for me this year. Somehow the fact of the largest living organism (a mushroom colony) pops up in everyday conversation. My roommate bought me a mushroom grow kit for Christmas. Instagram recently decided that I need information on how to forage them. So when our team settled on the theme of mycelia for this year’s Parnassus, it seemed extremely fitting.
At the very beginning of this process, we began with a definition. Three definitions, actually.
biological: underground networks of rootlike filaments supporting the fungus functional: systems that provide nourishment and perpetuate growth through decomposition of dead organic material social: webs of communication binding a community together
The first definition regards the literal description of mycelia, for those who don’t utilize this entirely casual concept in their everyday vocabulary. The second emphasizes the purpose of such systems, which is the manifestation of the new out of the old. The creation of the fruiting bodies—mushrooms—relies on the death and decomposition of other organic things, which lends well to poetic interpretation in and of itself.
The final definition relates to the interconnected aspect of mycelia, and the communication between organisms that flourish in the shadow and the damp. This season has, at times, felt entirely steeped in shadow and rain. But this is where mycelia flourish. This is where our communities best connect, rest, and prepare to grow.
Thank you to my wonderful team. From the process of communal definition-creation, to advertising via little mushrooms drawn in chalk or folded origami, to receiving, reading, and evaluating these pieces together—you all did a wonderful job, and I am so grateful for all the perspectives and thoughtful commentary you brought to the table. And thank you to Mary, for the gorgeous cover art and for being a wonderful friend. Together, we have created a book that emphasizes that which is important, that which is beautiful, that which is most necessary for growth.
I hope that we, as creators, can be proud of the beauty that came forth in spite of everything. And I hope that you, the reader, can enjoy this glimpse into what the young people at Taylor have to offer. As our friend and advisor Dr. Housholder would say: we made a thing. I’d say it’s a pretty good thing. I hope you like it.
- Rinnah Shaw
- Mer Fenton
- Ella Harris
- Jenna King
- Abby Pepin
- Anna Poel
- Joel Russell
- Alec Tebben
- Hannah Tienvieri
- Anna Poel
- Cover Artist:
- Mary Newenhisen
- Dr. Aaron Housholder
All texts and images copyright of their respective owners.