My wife Shiori didn’t have any particular craving during her pregnancy, instead she took to fierce gardening inside our small apartment, potting and repotting. When she was about six months pregnant, the Monstera Deliciosa arrived via mail. The young plant had a dramatic look and very attractive leaves with pronounced incisions and holes (they look as if they have been gently cut into, by a careful hand). While opening the package, Shiori mentioned that “the Monstera was used by Matisse in his cut-out work, as well as in the cover he designed for the book The Decisive Moment by Henri Cartier-Bresson.” I wasn’t aware of the name of the plant or its history, but the Monstera was imprinted in my memory. Later, I remembered that this plant was prevalent in Caracas during the 1960’s and 1970’s. I remembered that many apartment buildings had one in their lobbies. I remembered that I saw it growing, wildly, in the shady corners of my grandmother’s garden.  Victor Sira.

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