Right now, being in my office (work office) is nice: well-lit by natural light only; growing plants that are indeed alive; and enough of my other stuff to feel like this is my space, namely a huge bag of jasmine green tea from Dave that is five years old, a plastic container with homemade granola inside, a tea bowl I made with Missouri clay that broke in the firing ... feeling okay in here probably also has much to do with being hydrated, full of medications and vitamins, and well-fed today.
Plants, plants. I used to travel with a small cactus. It was in a car accident with me on my way from Iowa to StL for my first Christmas home from college. It went to Wyoming with me, and it died there, which was sad, far more sad than other people would have felt it was, it if had been their cactus.
The aloe plant Andy gave me, a surprise when I got back to Iowa after Wyoming, that he'd grown in the greenhouse all summer, weighed 25 pounds, and survived on its own once for a month with no water. It did eat itself a bit in that time. Two years later I repotted it, three years after that I split it up into eleven pieces. I gave away all but one, and that one is now dead. Oh Andy. Oh aloes.
So now I only have a bo tree, happy in my sunny office, and a philadendron that the former tenants of our apartment left for us in a glass jar full of water. It stayed that way for a year, then I potted it, and now it is growing like crazy. Plants like soil, I guess? They do?
I don't remember how my mom ended up with this mother-in-law's tongue that my great-grandmother had been growing for thirty years in the same pot, but she did, and I took it to Iowa, and it started growing another plant in that same pot, all with no change in anything ... and died, eventually, of course. I remember one very bad day in Iowa, when my roommate was home for a month because she was also doing very badly, sitting around sobbing and thinking of everything being dead (it was winter) and looking at the plants and thinking, well, the plants are alive. The plants are breathing.
Someday I want to be posting about what I'm reading and writing, and what art I'm making, and how awesome things are. For now, I will tell you that while I am exactly as broke as I thought, I am no longer convinced I will only be able to afford 50 lbs. of dry beans and 50 lbs. of brown rice. I know my loans will be paid off someday. I know my doctor bills will be paid off soon. I know that money, at least, will not be the thing to run me over, not for now.