There was a time in my life when I believed, that in a previous existence, I had been a fern. And I longed to go back to that time.
Those ancient, quiet, gentle plants that only need some wind and moisture to reproduce. Self-contained, they merely existed.
It seemed so simple to me. So uncomplicated.
Reading “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang, I was reminded of this. The woman in the novel, Yeong-hye becomes a vegetarian after some disturbing nightmares. It’s an act of defiance that throws her whole life into turmoil. Her true desire is to become a plant.
Sounds strange, and it is, but I also so understand it. It’s a reaction to her childhood abuse her feelings of being powerless and invisible. A way for her to take control of her life.
I remember thinking that it would be so easy to be a fern. So easy to just be. After reading The Vegetarian, I realized that that’s all I really ever had to do. Not as easy as it might be for a fern, but as simple. All I ever had to do was simply be me.