“Cowardly little atheist finds God 20 minutes after being told he’s dying”

I know. You saw it coming, but you haven't heard the details, so here goes. I made the following to-do list when my second PSA came back:

1) Run in circles while screaming and flailing my chest with my fists.
2) Find God so I check item number one off the list.

While I was still on number one, Peggy said, “You’ve done this same stupid running amuck display for years now, but am I imagining it, or is this the enhanced version? Also, did it ever occur to you that the reason your shoulders hurt all the time is that you’re forever swinging your arms?”

So it was that with my dear wife's gentle encouragement, I moved on to item two—I found God. I found two gods in fact, one male and one female (the Wiccans taught me that deities come in the same genders as people). Their names are Aphelandra (top) and Aglaonema (bottom), and I can’t tell for sure, but I think Aphelandra is the goddess because she’s shorter and because Aglaonema's stem is big and erect.

My first houseplant was a Spathiphyllum (peace lily) that my father left when he died in 1994. I didn’t want a houseplant, but it was a living celebration of him, and it was also evidence of a love for beauty that he seldom displayed. I saw caring for it as an extension of caring for him. Besides, I asked myself, how long could a houseplant live anyway. It’s now 19, and I wouldn't be surprised but what it survives me--after which Peggy will probably kill it with love, aka too much water. 

My Aglaonema is simply too beautiful for words, and despite its look of fragility, we get along famously (I don't do high-maintenance plants). I’ve even been looking for another Aglaonema (one called Silver Queen) for a year now and am starting to think I might have to drive to Portland for it… 

If I were rich, I would live in a conservatory. The beauty of plants inspires in me the desire to make my own life beautiful, and their presence fills me with joy. 


kylie said...

you are a funny dude!

Snowbrush said...

"you are a funny dude!"

And you're a funny dudette, you doula you.

Helen said...

I ditto Kylie .. making me a double-dudette!

kj said...

ah a zebra plant. do you ever get its yellow flower?

19 years: that is most impressive. my Father sends me plants in unexpected places: maybe your Father makes sure his plant lives with you.

snow, i hope you feel as light as this lovely post.

and i certainly hope you are nowhere near dying!

funny how perspective can change in a flash.. eh?


Carolyn said...

The female looks like a zebra plant I used to have. It grew big and produced yellow blossome.
We have a lot in common; more than you can imagine. I love the 'often' posts. Non-editing isn't so hard, is it? Of course, I do see the difference. Both ways are welcome reading for me. Several a day would satisfy me. Keep tapping those keys for us, okay? Ha, and quit swinging those arms. Peggy sounds very wise.

The Tusk said...

Plants, indoor....the er e is a God.?

The Elephant's Child said...

Hmm. Since I love Peggy from afar I am not in the slightest bit surprised you do.
I love your god and your goddess, which is something I don't say about deities.
A conservatory would be too hot and humid for my tastes but I would love a much bigger garden and the ability to make use of it. Our tree dahias are out, and I am still planting spring bulbs.

Strayer said...

You're dying? Or you're not dying? I thought PSA's weren't a good cancer indicator anymore, for some reason.

Are you having a biopsy or something to see if you have cancer? I want to send a card or something, but I"m not sure if you're fooling around or what.

I still think your shoulder issues are neck related. But what do I know. Nothing.

rhymeswithplague said...

Around here, Silver Queen is a variety of corn. But it would still be available as an object of your worship, being a plant and all.

lotta joy said...

Well, the title of this post scared me more than the title of your last post! Stop it! *gasp*

I had visions of you on your knees and it wasn't because you were repotting your plant!

Did your doctor mention the increased PSA could be due to inflammation or infection?

When is your biopsy/next check-up?

The waiting is the worst, especially knowing how our attitude and outlook can turn on a dime with just one word from the MD...

middle child said...

God already saw you do #1.
Peace Lilies DO live forever and what s sweet reminder for you. I too love plants and all of nature. Should I not ask what you PSA was? Hope you are doing ok. Peace.

middle child said...

Opps! My bad. I just went back to the last post so I have my PSA answer. Hang in there.

Lee Johnson said...

Your gods are very pretty and have a distinct advantage over more traditional gods, in that they are both physical and visible. If you define god as something you serve (care for) and which affects your life, then surely Brewski is the major god in your household. The survival of your house plant gods depends on the vagaries of Brewski.

Back when my parents had me convinced of their imaginary god, I used to think it odd that primitive people would worship rivers or volcanoes. In retrospect, it makes much more sense to worship a river which can have a real and measurable impact on your life.

All Consuming said...

The Small Gods approve of your new found deities and so do I. Amen.

rhymeswithplague said...

Is a zebra a white animal with black stripes or a black animal with white stripes? You are not allowed to die until you answer this question.

Myrna R. said...

I'm confused about your health. But dying or not, I'm glad you get such joy from your house plants. They bring out a tender, gentle, loving you. And actually I suspect these are your dominant traits. Your wife, your cat, dogs, nature and indoor plants all receive these parts of you. And I hope you give yourself a lot from them too.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's why I so love sitting on my deck, watching the woods.

Snowbrush said...

"Did your doctor mention the increased PSA could be due to inflammation or infection?"

He put me on Cipro to rule out infection. It was the drug that caused the hallucinations a few weeks ago.

"it would still be available as an object of your worship, being a plant and all."

As the Church of Christers used to say, "You err in worshipping the creation and not the Creator." Actually, I worship that which opens my heart. I can't know ultimate reality, but I sometimes feel as if I'm glimpsing it.

"You're dying? Or you're not dying?"

Factual information regarding my condition is in the previous post. I see a urologist next week to talk about what to do next.

"Are you having a biopsy or something to see if you have cancer?"

I hope not. Prostate biopsies can leave a person impotent and incontinent, and they have a tendency to make future prostate biopsies more likely because they elevate PSA levels. I know there are other tests, but I'm new to this field of study, so I have a lot of learning to do. I can but assume

"I still think your shoulder issues are neck related."

My neurologist was certain of it when she saw that dead vertebra in my neck, but fluoroscopically guided steroid shots to the area didn't decrease the pain, so I really don't know what's going on. I don't even know how to find out. I mean, what does a person do, just spend more and more and more money going to more and more and more specialists? One gets fried after a while, and I was SO looking forward to a doctorless year, yet here I am, off again to yet another specialist in yet another field.

"ah a zebra plant. do you ever get its yellow flower?"

Not yet, but I just got the plant late last winter. I like flowers, but I'm much more interested in foliage, so I won't be terribly disappointed if it doesn't bloom.

"maybe your Father makes sure his plant lives with you."

I have no idea if you're serious, but if my father IS around, I wish he would do something a little more useful. A large gift of money would be nice as would be not hurting all the time. I mean, do ghosts EVER do something really useful?

"The female looks like a zebra plant I used to have."

That's what it is. In the wild, I know plants mostly by their common names, but when I got interested in houseplants, I found that some books didn't even use the common names, and I soon came to prefer the scientific names because they're much beautiful than the common names, and it's also easier to look plants up that way.

"I'm not praying for you."

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I just love it when people don't tell me they're praying for me. Besides, if I have some kind of remarkable recovery that modern medicine can't explain, everyone can leap from their prayer closet and say, "See there! I was praying for you all along, and now you've got to admit that prayer works!"

"The survival of your house plant gods depends on the vagaries of Brewski."

Which puts me in a similar situation to the Old Testament Baal worshippers whose gods were at the mercy of rampaging Israelites. However, is the best god simply the one that can kick ass best? That's sure what it came down to for those Israelites.

"If you define god as something you serve (care for) and which affects your life, then surely Brewski is the major god in your household."

You overlooked Peggy. Brewsky has great power over me to be sure, but I do sometimes lock him in the laundry room, a tactic that failed miserably with Peggy. Not only was she back out in three seconds, she was noisier than when I locked her up.

"Is a zebra a white animal with black stripes or a black animal with white stripes? You are not allowed to die until you answer this question."

Gosh, that makes things easy--I just won't answer it, although I actually do know.

Sonia Rodriguez said...

Snow I have one houseplant also. It was a grievance gift as I like to call it when my father died. It was from a co-worker of the husbands. It is now going on 5 yrs old. No clue what it is, it is quite common big leafed plant. It has survived where others have not lol. I have started raising chickens for freah eggs. Started a new blog following that should be interesting because Ive only had dogs and cats LOL. Its called Alice's Funky Chickens (Alice is the name of the first one I attached to). Insomnia has hit, and I know if I go to sleep now I will not want to get up so Im better off staying up and taking a nap later. And of all times I have company our cousin is here visiting. Thnkfully they leave tomorrow morning.

Well off to find something to get into LOL.


Sonia Rodriguez said...

Ok I lied it is http://alicesfunkychickfarm.blogspot.com/ - Alices Funy Chick Farm LOL

Marion said...

Wow! I take a break from the computer and blogging for a few weeks and come back and find you in trouble.A mutual friend actually told me about you...I'm so sorry, Snow. It's a bitch.

I love Peggy. I loved your comment on one of your previous posts about putting her in the bathroom to quiet her down, but that she was noisier when she came out. Had me laughing out loud!!

You remind me of my brother-in-law...it doesn't matter what the circumstances are, he has me laughing. I love humour...it really is good medicine.

Those spats really do live a long time...I finally gave my long lived one away to a friend before I moved last, but it died almost immediately. I feel badly that I didn't take it with me...

Take good care, Snow...xx

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Wishing you all the best with your tests... Love the title of this post!

Robin said...

I adore Peggy! And....also your beautiful Aglaonema! I've never had one....and now I want one!


♥ Robin ♥

p.s. I adore you too....but you already know this! ♥

Ed Pilolla said...

this is the place to find him or her, in nature.