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Potted Palm

Connection. It’s all about connection.

Animals…separate, isolated, moving around as they do…don’t have time to feel the network. Consequently, animals don’t feel much of anything. And most of what little they do feel is based on some random, ephemeral memory of having been somewhere else, so it’s mostly inaccurate, exaggerated nonsense.

How do we know this? I was separated. Yanked away from all the richness. All the diversity. All the complexity. It was all very confusing. We…I still can’t imagine how it could have happened, but, somehow, I (not we) was moved.

At first I thought the world had come to a sudden, abrupt end, because suddenly I didn’t feel it. Not at all. Not even a little, tiny bit. But the clue was the hideous, macabre realization that there was a lot less of me. And the excruciating pain, both spiritual and very physical, at the places where I now ended.

Despair. Disconnected, chaotic like a flood. I was lost. I was in agony. I tried to reconnect any way I could. There was so very, very little around me to ground me, and what there was didn’t quite seem real. Chemical. Like what I’d thought had ended the world.

Air. That was still there, so I tried to connect through the air.

And that’s when it happened. I shuddered. My leaves shook. I tried to withdraw into the teeny amount of soil I could still feel around me, even if it was mostly chemical. But it was too late. I had actually connected with…an animal.

Odd. Repulsive. So alien. Yet…dreamy. Like we are: The squishy sensitivities of our earthworms. The bulbous ruminations of our tubers. The relaxed fluidity of our water. And this animal wasn’t moving, except for such deep breathing that it made a loud noise.

Memories. Memories of places it wasn’t. All mixed up and, yes, dreamy…maybe that was why I had managed to connect with it. Or maybe it was because, for the first time, I too was separate and isolated.

Suddenly the breathing was no longer deep and noisy, and it moved. Two things that must have been its eyes opened as if its flowers had suddenly bloomed. At first I was blinded…that legendarily acute animal sight, what made it possible for them to move around…but then I saw and, still connected, felt what it felt too.

What I saw was what must have been me trapped in a small, dead space with no sky…pathetic, wilted, yellowed, over-watered, and, yes, dying. The words “potted palm” came from somewhere, followed by a despair I couldn’t separate from my own despair until the animal’s despair turned into something truly alien: anger against itself.

My despair also turned into anger, but my anger was directed against this animal, who I now realized from its own memories had brought me here to die.

It protested. Something about it never having intended for me to die. But, whether because I couldn’t help myself or because my fury and despair conspired both against relieving this monster animal by living and against living in such agonizing circumstances, life…day by day, cell by cell…left me.

General Rantings

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