Most Likely to Resurrect Your Dying Desk Plant
She didn't know they would grow teeth, if it makes you feel any better about the situation. She just wanted them to have a good life, to thrive. So don't even think about it. Don't think for one second that she's to blame for the accidents that transpired and were made famous by that campy musical. We're not even about to blame the woman in this origin story. She did what she had to do. And she did it despite no one actually believing she could pull it off. So before you even start to question whether or not we should point the finger at her, just know that you shouldn't. She studied plants she believed to be native to upstate New York and raised them to become who they intended to be. It was simply the way things were.
You'd think she was just a gardener based on the dirt under her fingernails and the sun on her cheeks, but that would be foolish and surface of you. She may be a greenhouse full of growth above the soil. Rows of stems and flora, mortal and leaning toward sunlight for survival, waiting for water, wearing their own admirations and adornments. But beneath the dirt there were roots zigging and zagging among insects and secrets. Deep, winding worlds, a strange and unusual habitat that only she had ever seen. She was so much more. She was a botanist with a penchant for the absurd and she knew how to make a scene without even trying. I know because I met her the summer she grew them during my fifth grade summer camp in the Adirondack mountains. We went on a field trip to the nearby gardens and she gave us a tour and talked to us about plant life in such a way that I wondered if I would ever understand something as clearly as she understood them.
Listen, she made an impact on me, not a productive one for the plants though (but that's on me). Since then I couldn't keep a single bonsai tree alive that was gifted to me in a special moment by my mother for my first apartment. And last winter I forgot about my jasmine plant in the garage and it froze to death. But I do trust her enough to know that she didn't know they were going to become red-blooded killers. She was just trying to raise them right. And not everything she harvested could bite. Other species could see from their center. Some could feel emotion. Others crept about in the night. It was the general repose of the plants that just didn't sit with people right.
I can't even begin to criticize her ability to get out of control with her phytology because I can barely keep it together. And what she did was still a step forward for science, was it not? I wish I could ask her myself, thought we really don't know if she still resides on that acreage or what has become of her. But we'll lose ample time wondering what her purpose was; was it a combination of her deep heart and green thoughts? Or was it her dark heart and her green thumb?
Dear botanist, if you see this, share your truth.
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One sketch + one story, all October.
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