Last winter I was given an amaryllis bulb. It was a kit. Bulb, pot, soil-puck. The soil-puck duly fluffed up and I plunked the bulb into it and damned if the thing didn’t grow into its full glory with hardly any encouragement and no expertise on my part at all. Usually, indoor plants trudge into this house in a state of bleak resignation like Marie Antoinette on the way to the Guillotine.
So this was quite the success. But eventually the amaryllis faded and turned brown and slowly withered away. I left the pot on the windowsill until all the leaves disappeared and then I left it there some more. Probably there was something I should have done with it so it would bloom again this winter. Put it in the basement in a paper bag or something. I could look it up. What I did instead was nothing. It became one more of the Things I Should Get Around To. It’s got a lot of company around here. This whole house is full of reproach. It might as well be built on stacks of unread New Yorkers.
So the other day when I was busy ignoring something else I should get around to doing, I noticed the neglected pot on the windowsill again, with its layer of lint and spider poop, and just for the sheer hell of it, I tossed in a few tablespoons of water. First water that sucker had seen since February. It was either that or I’d have to look up amaryllis bulb care on the internet retroactively, and maybe the kids know how to do that, but I don’t. Probably I was supposed to unplug it and plug it back in.
The next day the smug little bastard shot out of the soil with a ping of self-importance. Stuck its little green tongue out at me. It was a botanical nanner-nanner.
If that don’t beat all.
There’s such an urge to life. What seed lies dormant in the hearts of the seventeen-year-cicada nymphs such that the whole gang tunnels up to the surface in unison? How do they all sit in the dark to think about things for seventeen years and then come to the exact same conclusion?
There are seeds that lie in wait in the desert for a hundred years and then blast into extravagant life with the first dab of rain. There’s singing, there’s dancing, there’s (shhh) pollinating, and a few minutes later there are new seeds ready to roll around for another century, paragons of patience.
Could this please be a metaphor? We’re all circling the drain pretty hard now and it’s hard to hold out hope. Mother Nature set us up as a Make-Your-Own-Asteroid species, and she’s obliged only to take care of herself, not us. She is unmoved by our existential dread. It would be lovely to think we might rise again, with wisdom this time. It would be lovely. But we aren’t owed that. We’ve got the urge for life but our seed is made of guilt and regret and nobody is under any obligation to relieve us of it.
I don’t think we’re going to rise again. But maybe we can be the soil puck.
No, we’re not going to rise again. We’ve fucked up the planet too badly, so we deserve our imminent demise as a species. It’s a pity that so many other species also are doomed because of us. I have no hope for life as we know it.
What I DO have hope for is that other species –who can live in this world that we made– will go on to live and evolve and someday… someday… get THEIR chance to fuck it all up. There have been other mass extinctions in our planet’s history, and life has always come back. Not the same sort of life, but life.
But we can be the puck.
Oh, I think we (not me personally, right enough) are clever enough to get ourselves out of the mess. I hope. Amaryllises are easy. You’ll have it for years unless you actually throw it out.
Okay, I got a new one this year (someone gives us one) and it’s firing away on all cylinders, but the one I was describing appears to be leafing but not flowering. So maybe it was a LITTLE unhappy.
And also we might be clever enough but are nowhere near wise enough.
Oh, exactly! Being clever is NOT being the same as being intelligent. And who isn’t at least a LITTLE unhappy now?
Footnote: When Brits say “clever,” they generally mean “intelligent,” but in American English there is a connotation of “sly.”
You did EXACTLY what an amaryllis bulb needs…months of nothing, then water. Give it a shot of fertilizer, and you’ll have a flower. I found that out by doing exactly what you did.
And here’s a shot of water and fertilizer for keeping hope alive…rumor has it that trump might be installed as Speaker of the House if republicans win in the midterms. Gets my bulb all ready to vote…twice if necessary.
What kind of fertilizer? (Ignoring the rest for my MH.)
Evocatively beautiful and poignantly sad
Amazing how potent an amaryllis bulb is…and how they occasionally disappoint. I nearly bought a bunch of them from one of the big-box stores but reached into the pot to find a so-called bulb about the size of a quarter…no wonder they were so cheap! For good bulbs, a little threat sometimes coaxes them to bloom (attached is a link to a picture of a Hippeastrum (amaryllis) that will alarm any amaryllis you wish to keep on the strait and narrow. https://www.flickr.com/photos/horticultural_art/25244794029/
(My first post from you…a friend shared your work about Supreme Court justices.)
Welcome! Wait! What IS that photograph?
Your masterful writing. makes me hopeful. Thanks, Murr. I need that.
You’re most welcome. Of course, my hope here is that we become the soil again for a more worthy brand.
I like to think we will rise again, but history shows that wisdom doesn’t come along with each new generation, if it did we wouldn’t keep making the same mistakes, (war, racism etc). With that in mind, perhaps it’s better if we don’t rise again. But I really want my descendants to survive and thrive.
I’m wondering if a few bulbs I planted recently will show any signs of life next season. I dug them out of the mud in an empty lot and let them dry out, but may have left them too long before planting.
Maybe I should try amaryllis instead.
You should try cacti. You just snap off a piece, let it dry out until you trip over it again, throw it on the ground, ignore it, and painfully dig out its gigantic self years later.
Au contraire! I would say that we are already rising once again. Yes, on a macro-level, it looks like our goose is cooked. But on a more granular level, I think we are like the forest that has completely burned. To the casual observer, the observer who is focused on and distracted by the devastation — it is The End. But quietly and subtly, there are shoots of new growth emerging from beneath the carpet of leaf cinders. At the same time that big media and social media show us people behaving badly, good people are finding each other and connecting quietly one-on-one. And environmentally, while there are cesspools of disaster around the world, I also think that more people are quietly making more changes in the way that they live.
Will these tender sprouts survive and grow to overcome the social and environmental messes that now face us? I choose hope instead of despair. At least as of tonight.
I guess it depends on whether you’re a “glass half-full” person, or a “glass half-empty” person. Me, I’m a “Who the hell was drinking my drink??!!” sort pf person.
My despair was not a choice.
Good on you, Ed! Best I can do is “cooked goose is delicious.”
The big box amaryllis bulbs I purchased this year came puckless contrary to the box instructions. Each contained about 1 inch of potting mixture, not nearly enough to cover an amaryllis butt. I (being internet savvy, persistent and cheap) contacted the local distributor. Supply chain issue. Well ok. Like everything else year.
Mine came with about one inch also, but it fluffed way up with water and then erection ensued.
I like to think that all those cicadas spend their years happily farting in their underground environs until the methane hits a critical level and blows them out of the ground.
Mother Earth is getting ready to do that to us -shake us off like the parasites are.
Time-release cicada farts! I like it.
I am just now in the midst of reading an editorial in the Sunday NYT called Trump Won’t Let America Go. Jesus Christ. The sooner I leave this slab of earth, the better. My home life is SO good. But reading this shit, or hearing it on the radio (I NEVER do TV!) really, REALLY makes me despair. And I’m 65, so you’d think I’d be “Okay… I’m outta here soon…” But it still worries at me!
My wife watches some news and a LOT of commentary. I call what she does “counting the rivets.” As: We’re tied to the railroad tracks, we can’t get ourselves loose, nobody is coming to save us, and as the locomotive approaches I try to admire the trees and butterflies, but she stares down the tracks and counts the rivets on the boiler.
Flat either way.
As to the “Make-You-Own-Asteroid” reference, Lindy and I just watched the new film “Don’t Look Up”. It had us frequently laughing out loud in the (small, Covid careful) theater, when we weren’t thinking too much about the climate change allegory.
Gee, I haven’t been to a theater since February 2020. You recommend that film?
Man, the last movie we saw in a theater was “A Quiet Place” by John Krazinski. So it was a few years back. I doubt that we’ll ever go to a theater again. Only partly because of Covid. Mostly because movies have become so asinine, what with all these Marvel comics adaptations. No, thanks; we’ll wait until it comes out on disc.
It’s not life as we know it, Murr.
65cm ラブドール 5つの最も合理的なセックスドール– Fansdollsセックスドールレビュー未来的な同様のセックスドール：2020年の最新のアップデートセックスドールはあなたが落胆と分裂を取り戻すのを助けることができますか？アーティストの崇拝人形–孤立は芸術の精神です
bubble butt sex doll I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet people, its really really good piece of writing on building up new blog.
Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together. Sex Doll Blog
sex doll flat chest What’s up to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this blog; this website contains amazing and in fact excellent data in support of readers.
tpe aikuinen nukke
hounds tooth blazer