With Lama Tsondru’s advice in mind, I drove up to Providence to celebrate my mother’s 81st birthday with a new attitude and these lovely plants/presents. The one in the middle is called Chinese Baby Tears.


I made a conscious effort to let go of my longing to get something from my mother. To let go of the “want.”

This Saul Bellow writing came to mind:

“…there was a disturbance in my heart, a voice that spoke there and said ‘I want, I want, I want!’  It happened every afternoon, and when I tried to suppress it, it got even stronger. It only said one thing, ‘I want, I want!’

And I would ask, “What do you want?”

But this was all it would ever tell me. It never said a thing except ‘I want, I want, I want!’

At times I would treat it like an ailing child whom you would offer rhymes or candy. I would walk it, I would trot it. I would sing to it or read to it. No use.  I would change into overalls and go up on the ladder and spackle cracks in the ceiling. I would chop wood, go out and drive a tractor, work in the barn among the pigs. No, no! Through fights and drunkenness and labor it went right on, in the country, in the city. No purchase, no matter how expensive, would lessen it…the demand came louder. ‘I want, I want, I want, I want, I want!’ And I would cry, begging at last, ‘Oh tell me then. Tell me what you want!’ And finally I’d say, ‘Okay, then. One of these days, stupid. You wait!'”

– Henderson The Rain King