Resurrection Plant


This week I am giving a workshop on writing memoir. I have asked the students to bring some objects that will inspire them, will stimulate their memories. When I was looking for something of my own to take to the workshop, I found a lovely thing that used to be kept in a glass-fronted cabinet in my childhood home. It was a carved pepper pot containing, instead of pepper, an old twig. This twig had been brought to Australia from the Middle East after the First World War. It’s called the Rose of Jericho, or the Resurrection Plant. When you immerse the ancient twig in water for about twenty minutes, the gnarled little claw unfolds, opens out, breathes, and it takes the form of a strange brown twiggy flower on a stalk. Bubbles of oxygen form along the fronds. Above are pictures of the pepper pot and the plant. The apparently dead twig is lying there alone. Maybe one day soon I will post a picture of it as it floats in water, resurrected.

2 thoughts on “Resurrection Plant

  1. This most interesting and insightful story of your writing history, put me in mind of that map of Tasmania being branded onto your heart. I could see the searing flesh with the puff of smoke coming off it. It is there forever. How many live/d there and moved about the place, oblivious? It gets you in the end, all those wailing ghosts. You acknowledge what happened there, by being aware of the brand on your heart and by writing from it, all the time.


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