random thoughts about plants

December 9, 2008 § 2 Comments

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frida’s casa azul

1.today lex sent me a link to the blog as the garden grows…which made me (once again) want to garden…and made me think of my mother.

on saturday mornings my mother goes outside and works on her garden.  she has done this ever since i can remember.  during the week she works for the environmental protection agency (epa).  of all the household chores that had to get done on saturday, gardening was the only one we kids were never expected to do.  rake the leaves, yes.  mow the grass, yes.  use nasty chemicals on windows and wood and floors, yes.

but gardening was/is her private joy.

i move so often a garden seems impossible to start nevertheless maintain.  and yet when i was looking at the garden on the lil blog, i felt the yearning for dirt darker than my hands and the sweet smell of manure and blood.   the best i seem to get are potted plants…which are not the same.

2. currently i am reading alice walker’s in search of our mother’s gardens.  and soon, i will start jamaica kincaid’s my garden.    this summer i read two books on food production.  one of them was excellent: omnivore’s dilemna. the best part of omnivore’s dilemna is near the end when he learns to go wildcrafting for mushrooms.  i am not a huge fan of cooked mushrooms (kinda slimy) but it made me start looking for dandelions so that i could make a salad.

3. will i ever live in one place, want to live in one place, long enough to love a garden?

4. i am thinking of anywanyu in wild seed.  one of the coolest powers she had was that she could hold or imbibe a plant and then watch what it did to her body and thus she knew if it was food or medicine or poison or all of the above.

5. i started using bach’s flower this spring.  the story of bach is that he was so intuned to the flowers that he could drip the flower’s nectar on his tongue and then tell you what its emotional properties were.  the flowers talked to him.

6. i love drawing plants.  it is kinda embarrassing that drawing flowers and fruits make me happy.  so typically girly.  i have tried to convince myself that drawings of flowers and fruits and girls can be art, but i feel like i should be drawing something more ‘hardcore’.  what social import do such things have in the midst of an empire?  but then i think of the zapatista murals.  their art is post-revolutionary.

7. and then thinking about lex (with a kickin afro) and the zapatistas (post-revolutionary indigenous-futurism art and writing) and my mother’s house (which growing up was filled with ancient egypt iconography) and the book : wild seed makes me think of afro-futurism. sun-ra’s music.  and when i was a kid i used to believe that i really was (like janelle monae sings) an alien from outerspace.  and in the summer we would go down south to my grandmothers and i would sit and talk with the trees and the wind because i had read madeleine l’engle.  i still kythe.

8. this prayer on ‘as the garden grows’ blog i am going to memorize and teach it to aza:

“Santa Frida, bless the farmworker, and move our hearts to remember and bless them well. The farm worker shares in your power as midwife to creation. Help us to serve as midwife to the living wage they deserve for their labor. Help us to serve as midwife to the cause of just treatment in the fields.” Amen. Ameen. Blessed Be. And so it is.

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§ 2 Responses to random thoughts about plants

  • lex says:

    oh Mai’a! how beautiful to hear about your mother’s garden, “our” mother’s gardens, and what a blessing to be connected to your daughter’s growth.

    and i was soooo into Madeleine L’Engle too!!!!

    love you,
    lex

    • maia says:

      and thank you. you are so connected to us all. i bought el compa the madeleine lengle’s 5 part series for virgin of guadalupe day. hopefully it will be one of the first books that aza remembers…

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