This is a traditional way of cooking dried shiitake. They can be served with other simmered vegetables, sliced to use as a noodle topping, or minced with shiso or parsley and tossed with rice and toasted white sesame seeds. You can make these mushrooms a pantry-staple; they freeze well, and they add a nice flavor and texture to many other dishes.
Not eating mushrooms, but thinking about mushrooms—
is Ms. Plath being a mushroom?
or is she overtaken by so many things out of her control,