The Mortality of Houseplants

by Jessica Lohafer

Poor, withering, indignant, blog. This is why I’m not allowed to have plants or pets; I have neglected this space for what feels like forever. Usually, this lack of follow through would be complimented by an intense feeling of guilt, (What have I been doing with my life? Why can’t I commit to a writing routine? Why am I such a failure?!) but I have the best reason for being distant these last weeks.

I’ve been writing!!

Yes, with words and everything. As the release date for my next collection What We Can not Keep comes ever closer, I’ve found myself legitimately busy with writing and editing. Oh editing….I feel about you the same way I feel about stretching after a run. So necessary. So not a priority. But I digress. Along with finishing up the book itself, I’ve been doing a little promotion as well. For those of you in the area, (probably all of you? does anyone read this that’s not within a five mile radius of me?) I was the Pin-up for What’s Up this month, a local music and arts magazine that the amazing Brent Cole and crew put out every month. It was the most fun! I got dressed up, was photographed by local genius Amanda Bettis, and felt totally nervous/nauseous. Then, I waited a couple weeks for it to come out, almost threw up from sheer nervousness again, and was finally able to see it in print. Nerves have since calmed down. It’s been a wild ride!

Also, New Year’s happened. I haven’t made my resolutions yet, but I feel this poem says it all. Thank you all for sticking around, more posts to come. And soon a book! A book! A real live book!

The Journey

-Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.