Tag Archives: scars

Life’s a Birch

I was sitting in an office waiting. There was a painting of a forest of birch trees on the wall.

I noticed that birch trees always have so many knots on their trunk, like they’re falling apart and losing branches right and left. Either it’s bad construction, or they’re the laziest trees ever and simply get tired of holding their branches up. If I was a bird I would only build a nest in a birch tree if I was pinched for cash and needed a place to stay. Even the bark has given up and started turning itself into paper. It’s like birch trees don’t really know what they want to do with themselves. What’s the point of being a tree anyways? Yeah, I get it, you’re supposed to grow and get tall… but why? Is there an optimal height that all trees are trying to reach? Because the taller you get, the easier it seems to snap in half in the middle of a storm, or lose your roots in a flood. Why not reach a modest, respectable height, and stop? Are you really going to benefit from being taller if you just keep dropping branches along the way? They are what built you up in the first place, so how do you think that makes them feel? You sacrifice what you consider to be dead weight just so you can sprout a few more leaves closer to the sun.

What I liked about this painting is that it didn’t show the tops of the trees. It only showed the trunks and the forest floor. All the branches were gone, but everyone could see the knots, the scars left on the trees.

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I was thirsty and uncomfortable waiting for the flight attendants to roll down the length of the plane and serve me 4-6 ounces of choice beverage. It’s bittersweet having an aisle seat because you can see how far away the beverage cart is. I couldn’t help but notice the name tag on on of the ladies read “Angel.” She looked in her 40’s and had obviously gotten some plastic surgery done on her face. No wedding ring, but she had a tan line where it used to be. I imagine she grew up with everyone calling her their “little Angel” all the time. That would mess you up pretty good, but there’s nothing she can do about that now. She asked what I wanted from her stiff smile and I just said “It’s okay, I don’t need anything.”

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