…A time to plant, and a time to uproot

There was a rat infestation in the apartment building where I live, some months ago, and the nasty rodents ravaged my prized plants. These were cacti and succulents that I had acquired in a period of two-three years. I returned from a weeklong trip to discover pots overturned, and plants with chunks gnawed off them. Some have disappeared, completely devoured by the critters.

Discouragement set in. After all, I have spent a considerable amount of time and money on these plants. Not to mention several of them were difficult to obtain – the kind you’d see in pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, never imagining you’d be able to get your hands on them one day.

Since then I abandoned my plants to fate. I stopped watering them and only rarely would I visit my tiny balcony garden to check up on them. Of course, my neglect resulted in more casualties but somehow I stopped caring. Still, a few survived. Some, the rats left alone due to their vicious spines or unpalatability. Some, being true desert plants, endured the drought I unjustly imposed on them. While some, just happened to be in favorable spots when it rains.

The rat infestation has been fixed (or so I hope) and I keep telling myself, I should check on the plants, I should water them, I should discard the broken pots, the soil spilled, the empty husks, but I keep putting it off again and again and again.

But perhaps now is the time to confront the uncomfortable. In the same way, perhaps 2019 is the year to confront what agitates me: to ask the questions I dared not ask for fear of the answers I might find, to salvage the pieces of dreams that has persisted through the long years, and to put away what no longer works.

“…a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build”
– Ecclesiastes 3:2‭-‬3 NIV

Happy new year!

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weak (Inktober 15)

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9‭-‬10

tranquil (Inktober 02)

“…And then it explodes into this enormous collage of what this present moment looks like… what it feels like and what it sounds like… And in this moment we are perfect, we are whole and we are beautiful.” – Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight

poisonous (Inktober 01)

So after I finished the House of Illustration’s #DrawingADay challenge, I realized there’s Inktober. I’ve never participated in Inktober before but I decided to give it a try. Inktober has a daily theme for the entire month but I don’t think I’ll be doing this daily.

Here’s my first Inktober work:

“The real world is in a much darker and deeper place than this, and most of it is occupied by jellyfish and things.” – Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

#DrawingADay

The House of Illustration had a drawing challenge for the month of September. The catch? Each drawing must be a square inch only. This challenge was inspired by illustrator John Vernon Lord who, in 2016, did miniature drawings for the entire year.

Here’s all of ’em tiny drawings:

nimbus

in a few minutes
it will come
crashing down upon us,
heaving on us
a million sighs
and exhalations,
blurring the borders
between shapes,
dissolving all sense
of distance,
coalescing colors
into a uniform shade
of gray.