Today is the one year birthday of my book, Goodbye, again. I'm really proud of this book, which went on to become a NYTimes and international best seller with the help of readers like you, reading this newsletter right now, who have supported and continue to support my work. I am deeply grateful and touched that you are interested in reading what I want to write. Thank you thank you thank you.
To commemorate the book's one year birthday, I'm republishing one of my favorite of the shorter pieces in the book, titled Pothos. So much of this piece became the template and inspiration for this newsletter, and I hope you can see why.
Okay! Here is the essay.
I read that pothos plants are able to thrive in pretty low light, so I kept ours in the back corner of our apartment, far from the window.
I watered it regularly and it grew and grew and seemed to be totally healthy and unbothered by its low light situation so I was happy that what I had read was right, except that after a few weeks of sitting in this corner, I noticed that the plant was growing quite lopsidedly toward the window, leaves reaching, aching, toward the light.
It looked unbalanced only growing to one side, and because I couldn’t move the window to the other side of the plant, I rotated the pot so that the other side of the plant would face the window.
Elissa said to stop messing with it, that moving it around would disturb the plant, but I thought that it began to look better after a few weeks in its new orientation. It was a bit more balanced, its leaves now reaching out to the window on its other side, too. The only thing that seemed unbalanced now was that the limbs that were originally reaching out to the window seemed to notice that they were no longer facing the window, and so they had turned around, reaching for the light that was now behind them.
As the limbs of the pothos grew longer and longer, their reaching, their yearning, got more noticeable.
One afternoon, this made me finally feel guilty enough for keeping the plant in its dark, perfectly fine, low-lit corner that I moved it right up to the window, placing it directly into the light, so it could have what it was reaching for.
A few days later, its leaves started to turn pale and brown—it had burned in the sun.
Pothos (from my book, Goodbye, Again)