A DEADLY CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY
Five years ago, around this time, Brian Temple stole a packet of sausage rolls from Greggs and did not get away with it. If he had, he would likely not be dead today. He would likely not have been driven to kill himself, would likely not have been found hollowed out by a mixture of anti-anxiety drugs, alcohol, cocaine, and one sleeping pill. And in his pocket, a near seven months after his arrest were the faulty release papers that did not detail a Greggs theft, but suspicions of his involvement with a 13 year old girl.
In circumstances unbelievable to quite frankly anyone, somehow, someway, a northern England police department had plastered the incorrect information on Brian’s file, which ended up in the hands of his then girlfriend, which ended up in the hands of his community. And after too many months of harassment, the inability to prove his innocence, and the incapability of the police to right their wrongs, he died.
The first thing I thought of when I read this admission (five years late mind you) was the obvious thing. It was— ‘how much evidence is too much evidence?’ Life is this expendable thing in the eyes of those who should be empowered by a belief in the opposite. We know that already, yet with every police incident it’s ‘here, stuff yourself with more evidence of this.’
The second thought was that we kill each other all the time, so that we ourselves can feel more alive than our day-to-day permits. Witch hunters and a certain category of Vigilante will tell you that ‘something had to give’— that action had to come of their suspicions of others, and that things were likely too mundane to deny themselves the right. And Brian’s community would admit the same if their hearts could speak.
But there is a thought that I think rears it’s head above the others here. That is, given where we find ourselves today (the cost of living crisis), sometimes, just allow it.
There’s a TikTok doing the rounds of someone looking the other way after witnessing the theft of baby formula at their job. On the continued topic of compassion (see previous post), sometimes (most times) it’s appropriate to consider what you are seeing and hearing for more than a light four seconds, to welcome context. Think about people and what they’re willing to do for what they truly need in the moment. If it is a basic need you yourself have ever been desperate to meet, (and quite frankly, the following applies all the more if not) go ahead and let them make that executive decision, let them live on.
There’s blood on many hands here, and, there’s only two sausage rolls in a packet.
YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IS KILLING YOUR PLANTS
I am a plant mother of six. I wish I was here to talk about my favourite little girl: my Mouse Tail Cactus, a symbol of endurance (I googled) who is sprouting fingers (pups) that are reaching out to me from my bedside windowsill. But I’m actually here to discuss how well my least favourite son is doing— Archie. Archie is a big boy Zamioculcas that I smothered with too much love (water), who began to fold on me by killing parts of himself. Now, half of him remains, but what remains is an upright, living green. He has not yellowed in two weeks. This is because the surrounding vibe has changed. No one has to tell me.
I saw a tweet this week that I’ll drop below:
These are the sorts of things we like to debate: whether plants or any living thing ‘beneath’ mammals and amphibians etc have the capacity to feel, vibe or sense anything going on around them.
There are the studies and the books that affirm both sides, that rationalise Archie’s behaviour. It’s known now that plants know when they’re in danger, and begin shedding parts of themselves so that they may preserve the energy to survive for a longer time.
Being that I am someone who can empathise with any inanimate object you could put in front of me, you don’t need to sell me on the secret life of a plant. I do believe that over these past few weeks, Archie can feel that I have resolved some issues, that all of us in this bedroom are a degree of safe these days, my plant kiddies and I.
I have made some positive adjustments that have reinforced my mission: persistent, consistent organisation, equating to my potential, my ability to meet it.
I’ve started reserving lie ins for Sundays, structuring my entire day on the basis of an 11pm bedtime, and I haven’t missed a workout in 8 weeks, nor a daily bible study/meditation in one *applause*.
Archie feels all of that. He is also enjoying a depressurised watering/feeding schedule. Most importantly, he’s surrounded by other thriving siblings, and is facing a sun that is a little less evasive.
Archie believes in me. I think he just wanted to know that the good vibrations are here to stay. And where I want to believe just as much as he, I think it’s likely that he knows something I do not.