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Microbes and Thunder Biscuit

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acryclic paint on canvas

You and I = We

Every time the air moves around the flowers on the kitchen table a burst of curry enters the air. Yesterday morning stepping out on the back porch the scent was of liquorice.

In the middle of winter there is a spot as you round the corner of the drive shed, moving from studio to the house, that at unexpected times smells of apples. Often it is in the dark of night when I am walking the dogs. It doesn’t rely on the sun or the damp, it appears with no rhythm that I have noticed, but this phenomenon has been going on as long as we have lived here, over twenty years.

The flowers of the Jerusalem artichoke grown here smell edible; of milk chocolate, but it needs a day of still air and hot sun to release their scent.

How often the world feels unintelligible to me, shouldn’t that be OK; good enough?

On the radio the other day, CBC, As it Happens,  they interviewed Jessica Green. (1

Well isn’t it interesting to learn that we just don’t share our bodily scents when we collide but also a whole world of microbes.

So, we are learning that although we are muscle and bone still we are more air than solid tissue and now we are each a universe of exploding potential for other life forms as well. For every human cell we possess it seems that we carry ten microbial cells. As we have over a billion human cells that means ten billion microbes.

How exciting.

(1 Jessica Green aka “Thunder Biscuit” is a microbiologist and the director of  The Biology and the Built Environment Lab at the University of Oregon and a Roller Derby Athlete. She is exploring the transfer of other living cultures between us as we collide on the planet.

About geri binks


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