Thursday, August 28, 2008


Árbol que crece torcido jamás su tronco endereza.

--Mexican Proverb

A tree which grows bent will never get straight again.

I wonder how twined I have become around my past. If one were to remove the central supports of my life, would I remain twisted around, contorted to accommodate rigidity that is no longer there? Or am I still supple enough to straighten out, to reach directly upward to the sky? Am I too crooked now to stand alone? Are the habits and philosophies of my mind set forever in the paths they took when I was still young and green and flexible? Those paths wove in and around, careful not to disturb, but still longing to maintain contact, forming myself around others, bending to their convenience and liking. If I remain rooted, will not the center grow, straight and thick, until it has me locked into place, eventually consuming me, melding with me and taking from me my individuality?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A Poison Tree

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunnéd it in smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole,
When the night had veild the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretchd beneath the tree.

William Blake, 1794

I am a grudge-holder. It is not an attractive quality, this I know. In my defense, I am extremely slow to anger, and cheerfully can bear numerous slights, insults and outright injustices while turning the other cheek and walking a mile in the other person's shoes. But I have my line, and when it it crossed, it is like crossing the Rubicon; there's no going back. The particularly unattractive part of it is that my foe may not know the Rubicon has been crossed. Because my reaction of a real, unmendable breach of friendship is simply silence. Transitory arguments that can be resolved are met with either outbursts of anger or carefully worded confrontations. The anger flares up and burns out or is carefully extinguished. But the unforgivable, the permanent breach is looked upon wordlessly and then walked away from, never to return, never to forget, never to forgive. Knowing this, I am careful, extremely careful, to be sure the offense is indeed unforgivable. Because it is a terrible thing to knowingly and deliberately poison a friendship to death.