My Yams: A Journal

Precariously perched, my young yams sit in the fruit bowl I’ve placed them in after I casually purchased them from the grocery store. Dead they appear although very much alive inside. Like me. Sweet potatoes. So benign were my thoughts when I purchased them. They sit unsuspectingly dormant in the silver metal-mesh fruit basket beside my coffee maker betwixt a dark corner on my countertop next to my fridge. This is an area of my kitchen and of my apartment to which I pay little attention. Sweet scalloped potatoes I aim to make with them.

Update: One week passes by since their purchase. The days pass by. The days slowly add up to weeks. This morning is different though. As I prepare my coffee this morning, I see small purple tendrils. That’s odd. I could swear these yams didn’t come with purple sprouts on them when I bought them. The days turn into weeks. Each morning, the sprouts grow longer. They can’t be growing, I think to myself. They have no roots. No water. No light. No nourishment. How can this be?

Update: The weeks slowly turn into months. On this particular morning, I arise but the size of the tendrils summon my attention more sharply as I make my coffee. The central green tendril must be longer than it was before. I begin to notice their growth. My yams are sending me a message: “We are alive. I am alive. I’m still alive.” Alive. Just like me. The tendrils are talking to me now. The yams seek life desperately. Clinging to existence, my yams wish, want and need a higher power. These yams are still unwavering in their determination to live.

Update: The most major green sprout has grown out of the sweet potatoes and it’s so long now that it graces my coffee maker. Such a rough metallic human instrument is no place for a gentle sapling to be adventuring. I became curious and sympathetic. What can I do to save the lives of these sweet potatoes? I misjudged these them.

Update: Days later, emerge small veiny leaves out of the long green stems that once were short sprouts. They spread out through the dark of the corner of my countertop. These leaves express a statement. It’s a bold statement but sufficient enough to be comprehended. How quickly these plants have found my correspondence. They mold a message in my mind: we, the yams, have met you halfway and we’ve earned our freedom. Now you do your part, they say to me. “Take us the rest of the way.” I now suspect what my purpose is.

It’s the truest of truths: freedom is wanted by all. Our will that drives us daily to survive must also somehow be the pursuit of freedom. Death, as an opposite of life, must then be the cell of bondage. What should I do? Should I save these tiny creatures? Should I put them in a pot of soil?

Update: The longest and greenest tendril that used to poke the coffee maker now lies limply on the countertop. Will these organisms even know life again? The roots no longer remain. So, how can there be life here? What I do next I do because it is a canon of the universe. We all must remember the golden rule! I must treat others as I want to be treated. I irrationally hope this act of salvation will appease the gods and that my extrication of these plants will come back to extricate me in return. Aye. Although, I am wary that the gods do not return favor to men seeking selfishly to only improve their own circumstances. Rather, the higher authorities reward only the natural good-willed.

Very well. Decision done. I will save these sweet potatoes.

Update: I’ve purchased a large pot and filled it with soil. I’ve halfway submerged my remaining sweet-potatoes in mason jars that are filled with water as is directed by instruction on the internet as to how to grow yams. A troop of sweet potatoes in glasses sit on my balcony. However, the largest, most patriarchal aforesaid green stem that that has grown the longest I’ve detached from its potato and planted in the pot of soil.

Update: my sapling thrives! Every day, it’s green leaves grow bigger and in the pot and it grows multiple stems. For months, I enjoy this lovely green sight on my balcony. An emblem of strength sits on my balcony. In the daytime, pigeons come to sit on the edge of the pot looking to eat the black sunflower seeds that I provide them on the surface of my deck. I don’t know what’s to come next with these wonderful guys. I will always associate the summer of 2017 with my yams.

Update: Since the days are getting shorter, light no longer shines on my balcony where I had placed the pot containing the long impressive stem. I bought an artificial sunlight bulb from a garden store. Since yams must grow in a warm climate and it’s getting colder outside, I’ve placed the yams inside the house next to the window under the consistent rays of artificial light set on a timer of five hours of light per day. My yam plant is wilting so I’ve repotted the plant in a larger pot with nitrogen tablets and plant-eating bacteria killer.

Final Update: December 2nd: The plants are dead. They have left this planet. Their spirit is gone despite my efforts. I’ve failed. I’ve failed. My communion with them is no longer.

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Free Will… again

The physical non-living world around us is governed by the laws of nature. Water, due to the force of gravity, will move from a point of higher elevation to a point of lower elevation if it is permitted, but what if humans come along and erect a dam or divert the flow of water to go somewhere else? When we humans do something to our environment, is that action a complex manifestation of the physical and chemical laws of nature or are we separated from the non-living world in the sense that we choose to take a specific course of action through our own volition and free will? Does free will only exist for humans?

Blurb about Life’s Purpose

[This passage was originally written in 2014. This does not necessarily reflect my view today.]

To forsake one’s own pursuit of family and to abandon the pursuit of wealth in order to fully apply one’s self to ensure other people have the opportunity to pursue their own interests is a higher cause than pursuing one’s own self-interests. We owe the forefathers who died for their racial kinfolk and who died for their grandchildren the greatest debt of all.