Volcom button-up; Midnight Rider Townes Van Zandt shirt via Bona Drag; rings from Spell and the Gypsy Collective, Southset, Rejoice the Hands and vintage/markets; hat from Camberwell markets.
I’m growing a couple of cacti in my front yard – where my dog can’t rip them out and chew them up, because that’s what she’s into – and I’m obsessed with them. I check them every day. One’s a Euphorbia Mammillaris Variegata that blushes pink and orange in the sun; and the other is a tiny Opuntia Santa Rita that is rapidly growing new pads and will eventually be like a purple prickly pear with yellow flowers.
So this obsession – teamed with recent thistle-harvesting and flower-pillaging activities – has me wondering: is my newfound fascination with plantlife a symptom of ageing? As you get older, do parts of your child mind return? Maybe being more aware of mortality restores your sense of wonder and fascination with the world.
I was really into plants and animals and mushrooms (in a non-druggy way) when I was a kid; and I would collect fungi and burrs and seedpods and flowers and leaves, but there was a whole bit there during adolescence where I wasn’t really interested. I was just into Dead Kennedys and drinking and angst and resistance and posters of Trent Reznor.
Also, I distinctly remember being a teenager who was really preoccupied with trying to make things happen a certain way. Eventually, in my early 20s, I read that DFW line about trying to engineer your fate, and now I kind of drift along and just try to make good decisions and work hard without trying to force anything. But I was also, at 19, right into drinking and smoking and putting on all those artistic-literary affectations. I later realised that drinking and smoking actually made me a worse artist, so I scaled that rightback too. Maybe getting rid of those compulsions and preoccupations freed up some time for me to start looking at and appreciating the natural world again.
Anyway, I’m thinking about this because I sometimes see qualities of my parents surfacing in me – which is in no way a bad thing – and I am just so looking forward to heading home to the farm at the end of this week. I’m looking forward to walking through the garden with my mum while she tells me about her different plants, whether they’re happy and what lives in them; and to seeing my dad walk into the big wooden kitchen at midday, with some delicate, beautiful insect or bird cupped in his broad oil-stained palms. I’m even looking forward to hearing those goddamn cicadas for a second.
Over the past few years, I think I’ve softened my resistance against life’s inertia, which is making things a little easier. There’s a difference between working hard and struggling against reality, although both are hard fights. But anyway, being psyched on a colour-changing cactus comes with way less complications and contingencies than some of the things I fretted over when I was younger.