You said that you love me. That was a lie.
You said that you cared about me. That was a lie.
You said that you knew me. That was a lie.
I sit on the cool earth, touching soft soil with my hands, planting things that will grow in love. Thinking about you. And what your love is. And how it’s not truly love. And maybe you can’t discern love from anger.
I am growing sage. I am replanting it from the container in my windowsill to a large bed in my backyard. I have a backyard. I never thought that I would have something be mine. I love it. I take care of it.
And the more I grow, like this sage, the more questionable your actions become. You were reactive, like a firework that doesn’t know when it will go off. So everyone waits, anticipating the explosion, but never timing it right.
Sage cleanses things. I think that’s why I was so excited when my husband brought the tiny seeds home as a gift. I have a husband. And I love him. And care for him. And he brings me home small gifts sometimes. That are meaningful. Thoughtful.
I think of our times together. How we have grown. Yet the more I look at the string tying our lives together, the more I realize, you are stunted. You don’t understand how to love. And through the eyes of a young me, I thought I was supposed to teach you. And I would try. I would sit near you when you cried. Listen as you opened up. And hurt when you hurt. You had a difficult life. And through my life, I thought I was responsible for helping you heal.
Sage heals. Sage heals old wounds, heals the air. Sage is a kind herb. My hands run through its small roots. I take my shovel and begin digging down into the soil.
It is a bold statement, I suppose, stating that you lie when you say you love me. And I know you try. But love to you is like rain in a river. It doesn’t add much to what is already there. You hold pain. Anger. Love is not a band-aid for you, but a tool to manipulate.
Gardening is simple. You plant the seeds, you water them, give them sunlight, and then watch them grow. The soil needs to be balanced. The light needs to not overexpose. But overall, it is a simple practice. One filled with love.
Being is complex. You are born, and your fate is at those around you. You develop the thoughts and ideas of your ancestors. You develop you from those around you. So, it is not surprising that you are you. Your family is full of façade. You were responsible for others. You cared for others. You were beaten and abused.
When a plant loses a leaf by force, it sends its energy to that part of itself. And it focuses there. While it does this, other parts of the plant struggle. And if it struggles for too long, it dies.
You were forced to be strong at the sake of your maturity. And through my life, I was under the idea that it was my fault. But it is your family.
I often wonder if seeds get to chose where they land. Or if the wind blows them randomly. Although it doesn’t matter in the end, a seed that lands on good soil has a better chance at surviving than one in bad soil.
I wonder if I chose you in heaven. As a baby. They say that’s a thing. And I feel guilty, wondering why I chose you. For it seems neither of us have had much gain. Why the rope tying our lives has made us be together. Did I make your life better in some way? Did you make mine?
I did not teach you how to love properly. I feel that was my purpose. And I failed it. Because if you cannot love me properly, then you cannot love anyone. That sounds entitled, I know. But it is true.
The façade we have at gatherings, is a lie. Who I am, in front of you, is a lie.
Plants cannot lie to me as I plant them. Plants are maybe the most honest thing we have on earth. If they’re sick, they show it. Malnourished, they show it. Lacking something, they show it.
I gently place the roots into the soft hole. Filling the surroundings with broken earth.
I am weak. But I did not show you. I wanted to die. But I did not show you. I hated my life, but I did not show you.
Because when I was weak, you yelled. When I was scared of death, you judged. And when I wanted to end it, you mocked.
You do not know who I am. And you do not know how to love me.
You do not know who you are. And you do not know how to love yourself.
Sage may heal the air, but it cannot heal your mind. For your mind is wrapped in a plastic bag. It will never degrade, never change. It is to be solely in that unbudging plastic bag forever. Our ancestors somewhere created that bag. And it has been passed down through their lives.
I do not have that plastic bag wrapped around me. I don’t know why. I didn’t ask to have it removed. But I know it’s not there. Because I see the façade, the misery, the abuse. I am the one to stop the ancestral idea that feeling is weak. That anger is love. And that love is small. I don’t know how I chose this. Maybe this was my purpose, not to make you learn how to love, but to allow our future to know love.
So, I sit on this damp earth, patting the soil around my sage. As warm tears stream down my face. I am learning to love. And maybe one day, you will see me, and learn too.
A.A.Y August 19, 2021