I kill green things. Under my care, plants eventually turn brown and brittle. One potted cilantro I bought lasted long enough for me to make one tasty batch of guacamole, and then the leaves wilted. It died within the week.
I don’t know why my plants conk out on me. I may over or under water them (probably the latter), expose them to too little sunlight, or they just might not like the way I talk to them.
Something in me likes to see things grow, despite my penchant for draining the life from the living. I recently bought two herbs (one rosemary and one spicy oregano) to use for cooking. Given my history with the cilantro, this was a risk. But the Twitterverse told me that rosemary is a hardier gent than cilantro, and Twitter doesn’t lie. So far, the wisdom has proven right; the rosemary is thriving after two months under my care. Yesterday, I put it in a pot with the oregano and dumped a cup of water in the planter. And I prayed.
As an admitted pessimist, I struggle not to strangle my own dreams before the roots spread. I have planted amazing seeds in the past year to make my life more verdant:
I traveled to New Orleans to volunteer for the Southern Fried Poetry Slam;
I took a writing class;
I resumed writing my fledgling memoir;
I performed more poetry;
I joined a fellowship/charity group;
I started pages for Twitter, Tumblr, this WordPress blog, and Disqus;
I published some essays online
I launched myself into writing groups;
I patronized my local library and read real books;
I cut all my hair off again;
I learned I could be fearless.
I have come to realize that things in my life die because I let them go, because I do not fight for their existence. I nearly let my writing wilt and molder from fear. Afraid it would stink to high heaven. Afraid others would not find it palatable. Afraid of what could happen if I wrote something powerful I could not nurture.
But I know if I nurture my spirit, the words will push upward toward fresh air and they will live on their own. I will wipe blood from the leaves of things I killed and start over. My life is fragrant with dreams these days. I give them sun and water and I speak kindly to them in the morning.
And I pray over them: Grow with me.
10 thoughts on “Wiping Blood Off the Leaves”
Aw, I’m so glad you took inspiration from them! I have to preach this to myself daily. It’s a process!
Thank you so much for your words of inspiration; they have exposed my tightly held fears. I must say I have started a lot of things that I have watered with fear and concern for others disapproval. I stumbled upon your blog because I have decided it’s time i starve my fears. Thanks again, I will no longer think I can’t write, I will just write!
Thanks for reading, Val 🙂
Submitting stuff is the worst. I have Sept 1 deadline and a Nov 1 deadline, and those are the hardest walls for me to breach.
Thanks for the inspiration!
I’ve planted similar seeds this year like taking a writing course. This year I’m to push myself to submit stories. It makes me dizzy and I haven’t. I have no problem growing plants (You should see this orchid) but nurturing and cultivating those things within me…well.
Right! How am I supposed to get my mango salad proper without fresh cilantro?! And the store-clipped bunches have too much and they die quickly. (pouts)
awww… I just had to throw my cilantro plant away for the exact same reason!
It really is! We have to feed our writing or it’ll dry up. The hardest lesson for me to learn! 🙂
Wonderful insight. I’m pretty good with plants, but not so much with my writing until the last couple of months. Nurturing is key