Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Plant is Dying Way Too Close to My Graduation and Now I Think I'm In Trouble Because It's All About Me

My plant is dying.

(I know -- it's been a while. Let's catch up: Francis -- yep, he's keeping it real, isn't he? But what about the talk to the Sisters? I know -- doesn't make any sense. Someone's not advising him well there. They are not the problems in that situation.

Game of Thrones: Last week was CRAZY TOWN.  I don't ever want to go to a wedding again.  Or if I do, and someone starts to shut the doors, I am out of there. I don't care if I'm presiding, I'm bolting.  And don't you dare, DON'T YOU DARE play any of that Lannister music, 'cuz I will LOSE IT. My friend has a cat named Lannister and I'm thinking it needs to go.

Oh, you don't watch Game of Thrones? Riiiiight. Never mind.

Obama: Yep.

That's all I got there. Yep.  Also, drones.  Can we please, please stop with the drones? And dude -- can we freaking have some gun control? JESUS.  COME ON.

I agree, Arrested Development was not very good. Kind of bummed me out, too. But did you see the end of Scandal? I KNOW, RIGHT?

And Gatsby? Those critics were crazy, no? A pox on all their houses.)

My plant is dying.

This plant looks like the Tree of Life next to my plant. 
I could live on its fruit for a year.
(It doesn't have fruit? Fine -- I could drink its chlorophyll for a year. Happy?) 

It's been happening for a while, actually. I noticed it about six weeks ago. My little ficus bonsai, a gift when I first came to Los Angeles three years ago, which had blossomed in the last year especially into this green leafed wonder, suddenly shriveling. Today it has three leaves left.  It's close to death.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised.  It's been that kind of year.  In the fall, my superior from New York died, dropped dead on Election Day. (He'd have been pleased with the result.) Two months ago, my mentor in Australia, long suffering, dead.

Plus, here I am, at the end of what I hope is the end of my studies. A week from today, I get my MFA from UCLA.  Three years of study, about 8 scripts later, here I am.

And my plant is dying.

Maybe it's metaphorical. I'm in the middle of a big transition, letting go of a big source of life, so my plant is dying. (Because, as you know, the world is really just an instrument to tell us what we need. If you can feel the center of gravity shifting in your life right this instant, it's because it's recentering on me.)

Honestly, it feels sort of foreboding.  My life here continues, even grows.  And so my ficus should grow with me, right? But instead it's going to be dead, well and truly dead, in just a matter of days.

Can life grow out of death? You'd think I'd know the answer to that, but I don't. I was recently writing someone at work about a book they're having me read.  I wrote, "I'll get to 'Catholicism' soon." And then I realized, at this rate that might be the title of my autobiography.

The gardener I've been talking to tells me yes, from seeming death can come life.  I just need to let these last few leaves fall, let it wither all the way, then cut everything that has grown -- I'm literally wincing as I write this -- cut everything until all that's left is this little stump where there's still green under the bark -- and put it in a hot house and wait for it to grow.

Maybe it is a metaphor for my life. Maybe this graduation is a sort of dropping of leaves, so there's room for something else to grow. ("Maybe the world does revolve around me." What a surprise.)  The gardener tells me my plant is dying because I overwatered it.  Maybe it's time for me, too, to dry out in the desert.  A bit of Tatooine after three years of Cloud City. I could even go to Tashii Station and pick up some power converters.

They say "Dry ground makes the roots grow deeper". Okay. Thanks. I guess.

In the meantime, my little plant, my first plant, first anything really, which has accompanied me these three great years, watched quietly as I've been shredded and grown, sits on my patio, soaking in the gloom of an LA June, fighting for life, and failing.

What will happen? Will it come back?

I guess we'll see.