Category Archives: Simple and Mind Blowing Observations

Growing Up Plants

It started in early spring. I’d stop in at a plant shop and flirt with the greenery. I wouldn’t buy, only touch. I’d rub my hands along leaves, stems, picture them pot-less, wondering what was happening beneath the soil. I’d go home and fantasize about them, about them belonging to me, and me satisfying them.

I’d visit the shop again, maybe inquire about some of their likes and dislikes, get to know a few of them a little better. I’d play ini miney mo in my head Will you be the lucky one? How long will we will last? Right when the unknowing got unbearable, I’d buy one. I’d cradle it home, pick a spot for it, and place it gently. Here you go. Now we try to make it work. Please, let’s make this work. 

First it was one, then two. All of a sudden I was picking up new beauties every week. In the course of 2 months, I acquired 8 new obsessions.

 

A long time ago, I had a bit of a green thumb. I was even somebody who bought discounted plants and could bring them back to life. But more recently, I’ve discovered I’ve lost my undeniable touch, and it’s shaking my self esteem. How could I be so good at something 10 years ago, and now be void of skill? Is this something I should prepare for when it comes to motherhood, wifehood, friendship or something else? No thank you.

And so I fight.

The Creeping Ivy – beautiful and touchable with miniature oak leaves that started to die. I was horrified and touched it more, panicked and watered it more, but continued to watch it wilt. I changed the lighting (candle light my sweet?), played Jann Arden for her, touched her in places she’d forgotten about and watched her bounce back to life. But then one morning I wept quietly beside her and decided desperate times called for desperate measures. I removed her from her pot and performed an impromtu surgery. I cut her in half and tried to decide which side had the best shot of surviving. I repotted the more lively side and said goodbye to the brown, miserable side that had peaced out. She toys with me. The side I saved hasn’t died. It hasn’t thrived. It is a zombie plant, stuck somewhere between life and Darryl.

The Bamboo plant from Canadian Tire ($10) – violated by my cat. The leaves were nibbled or eaten entirely and yet she stands proud in her…beer glass (?) and continues to green the crap out of the rainbow spectrum. She gives all the other plants a run for their money when it comes to colour. A survivor. Don’t don’t care what she looks like. She’s bad ass.

The Kangaroo plant – doing well. She gives me hope. There’s nothing wrong me with me, I tell myself. If she can be happy here, then the others are being picky. 

The Orchid. The Geisha of house plants. I knew it wouldn’t last. With the beautiful orchid, I enjoyed our time together. She wooed me, gave me pleasure. Our shared time was beautiful, memorable, but there was no lasting power there. We were not soulmates, we were in love for a night and I was relieved when it was over. She left her expensive pot and I still don’t know what to do with it.

The Aloe. Omigod the Aloe. What am I doing wrong? I look around and everyone, I mean everyone seems to be able to keep an Aloe alive. I’ve seen the craziest people host the heatlthiest aloes, meanwhile I’m starting to use my Aloe as material with my therapist. Sometimes it stands up straight, sometimes it wilts.  At times I think it wants more from me, and I cater. I touch the soil, I stroke the tentacles, one time one fell off into my hand. I was mortified. I came home the other day and a new juicy arm was developing. Playing hard to get, clearly.

I don’t know what my relationships with these plants mean. It feels important, it feels like a test, like a calling. Please need me I whisper. Please make me your number one. Your North. I’ll provide everything if you keep loving me.

And so, I keep growing up plants.

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A Letter From Beyond

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Dear 31 year old Miriam. Here I am, your 98 year old self, writing to you. You need a little boost.

I wish deep fatigue for you. So deep and so layered that when you manage to get a solid 8 hours of sleep you feel even more exhausted because your body has been teased with the notion of being rested. A little sleep at this point will almost kill you, like a meal for the person who hasn’t seen food in months. This fatigue is so heavy you negotiate the pros over the cons in closing your eyes at a red light. Just a little shut eye because your eyelids feel like they weigh more than your brain – which isn’t saying much because your brain feels like feathery mush – but you get it. They’re heavy. I wish this exhaustion on you so that you may come to understand yourself on a whole new level. A new personality exists under your rested self, and guess what? That personality is pretty shitty. Angry. Unreasonable. Stupid. So stupid you would catch a few winks at in intersection. If you suffer for as long as I wish upon you, you will have time to turn that shitty personality around. You will have time to tweak it, to reason with it, to find a place of peacefulness despite the lack of sleep. This new you will come in very handy for when you are rewarded with a decent nap, an uninterrupted night, a weekend away. You will find you have new depths to your patience and you have a deeper appreciation for everything. Everything. You will notice that the sidewalk is made of cement and you will be thankful. So long you have gone without noticing anything, that now the world seems like an undiscovered planet. It is my wish that you wake up because you have been awake for too long.

It is my wish for you to have to care for another person. Child, parent, distant relative. A person in need. A person who would die without you. Once in your whole life. I wish for this for the sake of learning what you are capable of. To learn what sacrifices you are willing to make. To be turned into a mad hatter because you cannot do what you please, but rather must respond to another person’s needs. For this wish, it must last long enough that you begin to think about how you can provide self care within limitation. Limitation creates space, and what used to look like a need to party; a need to shut people out; a need to shop; a need to run away – turns that need on its head so you can look at the real issue. It is my wish that by virtue of your being needed by another human, the first thing you do in the morning is something for somebody else. This must last long enough so as to create a habit of giving first thing in the morning. This allows that on the days you miraculously have nobody to care for, coupled with your new thankfulness because you have woken up due to wakefulness, your day begins with utter gratefulness. To begin your day either by giving, or by being grateful is the result of having another person in your care.

I wish for you to be taken down a peg or two. I wish for you to come to a moment in time when you see all the things around you as things. Whether it’s your house or your car or your clothes or your job or your mismatching dish set – one day you will finally see them as separate from you. This moment will be hard, and everything will lose it’s value. Everything you have worked for will be meaningless in the material world and you will feel lowered. But then you will hear that your house is full of laughter. Or maybe your favourite song will come on. Maybe you will feel filled up for no reason and not worry about how you just realized everything else is worthless. Maybe you will feel alone, or lonely, even in a crowded room. This moment, this awareness will change how and what you value. Knowing what you truly value will give you a meaningful life.

Calm down Miriam. With any luck, all my wishes will come true and you will be fine. Love, Miriam