Friday Fictioneers – April 5, 2013
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”
Now I’m grown up and old I can see the effects of my “training.” Ingrown here, stunted there, twisted and crooked aslant. The cells in their leaning away. Living and dead all over. No chance of undoing. I don’t doubt that the core of me is reaching, but axes and ropes have wounded my way. I did my damnedest. Filling up leaves, sending out seeds, but the root was in the sap. Perhaps I’ll be useful for burning.
N Filbert 2013
25 thoughts on “The Training”
An unusual look at the tree and how it represents life.
“Zhuangzi was walking on a mountain, when he saw a great tree with huge branches and luxuriant foliage. A wood-cutter was resting by its side, but he would not touch it, and, when asked the reason, said, that it was of no use for anything, Zhuangzi then said to his disciples, ‘This tree, because its wood is good for nothing, will succeed in living out its natural term of years.'”
Maybe off topic, maybe not, just my association to this picture 🙂
Brilliant take on the prompt. Very well done
Creative story for this photo prompt. Nice job.
thank you much
”… cells in their leaning away” – first read it as ‘learning’ away. Suppose meaning in either is similar.
Poor tree – I didn’t see it as deformed and stunted before – you’ve made me look at it in a whole new light. Great writing.
Not sure about this sentence though: The cells in their leaning away.
Is it me, or is there something wrong there? (Maybe the wrong ‘their’??)
This reminds me of your piece with the two oil lamps, with both being meditative. This fits the gnarled tree really well. “Living and dead all over” is a fantastic line.
A bit sad at the end, since the tree has such a bleak outlook. We all develop scars and irregularities as we progress through life. It’s just character. 🙂
that’s an interesting observation, thanks. I could see both there/their functioning, and I agree it’s a stretch on the imagination
ah, learning would have been a nice choice there
This is an absolutely brilliant entry. Definitely very applicable to humans as well, unless you’re Dorian Grey
Wow! now I am feeling all depressed for this tree! He is a kind of ‘sap is half empty’ personality isn’t he? Very well written. 🙂
I thinking the cells in their leaning ways is brilliant and learning way would have done nothing for me..What I got out of that lines is the biology has already set the course for growth, outside factors could change it but the blueprint is there. Dude this ranks up there as one of your best. An excellent take on this prompt! And the root was in the sap is great word play. Hat’s off my friend!
thank you kindly
Very generous comments. Thank you Tom.
“As the twig is bent…” Sounds like some serious bending and, perhaps, breaking of this poor twig. Very nice writing. Poetic and, at the same time, heart wrenching.
Wow, wonderful narrative device 🙂
Great personification. Every line a line of poetry. Every word counts. Irrelevantly, probably, but ‘Leaning away …’ reminds me of Keat’s ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’. I think that leaning’s to do with mesmerism. Yet also a form of ‘training’ difficult to depart from. It’s my birthday today. Margaret Thatcher died. Picasso died on my birthday in 1973. I’m thinking this is forming a pattern. Which celebrity will die on my birthday in 2033? And again in 2073? Worrying. 🙂
Happy Birthday…don’t become a celebrity 🙂
A personification of the tree’s thoughts. So thoughtful.
I’ll try not to die on my own birthday, then.