Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Queer Tree

Full unedited version:

I am a queer tree. I mean I'm straight but, you know, still pretty weird. Just ecentricities. Like I can sometimes sway opposite to the wind just to confuse the other trees around me. Or start dropping my leaves way before autumn, gives them a real bad scare. And I love it, my eccentricities, my freedom, my sense of self. But, there's another side to me.

There's another side. A flat one. Like its not even there. Its not. Its surprising but it just never was. I simply never had in me whatever I was supposed to, on that side of my personality. Its as if some really sharp lightning just came and cut me in half right down the trunk, and removed the other half clean. It could totally have been so, except I don't remember the lightning. And there's no other side effect that would favor this theory, I'm pretty much normal otherwise. Really. Pretty much.

During childhood, with those other little plants around me, friends and otherwise, all trying to grow and become strong meaningful trees, I didn't even notice. I was too small, maybe. Or there was just not enough information. Whatever, I just didn't know that it wasn't how you were supposed to be. But a little bigger I grew, and I could say that there was something clearly different. Between me and them. Between me and everybody. Everybody else was normal. Ofcourse they had their eccentricities and differences and peculiarities, but they were still, in their basic selves inside, normal. And I somehow, just wasn't. There was one difference for sure that I never clearly acknowledged, but looking back, it definitely was real. I was weak, though just a little bit, but weaker than, say, normal. But I didn't know it then because I was taken care of well without any effort on my part. So strength apart, I still found myself a deviant, and the feeling only rose with years passing. It corresponded one to one with another feeling in me, that too, similarly, grew harder and more real as the years passed. It was the feeling of loneliness.

How I came to realize my uniqueness was actually because of my abilities. These abilities that I showed a flare for, made me known and talked about, and that really made me happy. It satisfied some inner craving for completeness which I knew not the cause of. And hence I tried even harder, and got better and better at them. It wasn't all of a sudden. Like what happened first was that I, in a moody swing one day, started swaying about me, a bit musically lets say. Its not something any tree can do, or does. Its an art, really, and there are trees popular in lands far far away just for their style of swaying. So anyhow, when I was doing that thing, pretty rookily I admit but atleast I seemed like I could do that stuff, I called out to a tree nearby. She saw me, and liked it! I was doing something on my own and somebody liked it! I was excited. So I did it more, and did it well. And kept trying. I don't know how or why, but I was fast. I pick up things fast. Soon I was all poetic in my motion and got pretty popular for it, atleast in the swamp. Trees used to turn to look at me do it when I called out for them, and used to nod in agreement, I was good.

And then I heard someone whistle. I never knew trees could do that. I mean wind made noises, sure, but to trap and move it inside you as you want it to and create those sounds that mean something, that's power. It is easily the most enchanting form of creative expression we possess. Revolutions have arisen out of the whistles of a tormented tree. And I could whistle. Its the most admired of art forms, and I really saw that I had some potential.

So yes, I had a few abilities, and was proud for them. But yet when I looked at someone with a normal, full round trunk with sturdy brown branches coming out of it, I used to feel something in me. Now he can't sway like me, can't wiggle his leaves like I can, isn't intelligent in its sounds and sure can't whistle, but he has something I don't. He is still, in some really basic sense, complete. He is normal, and I'm just not. And I can't for the life of me figure out why.

I saw it clearly somewhere in my adolescence. I saw the difference, right there, sitting in perfect view as if crying for attention. Like a chopped off half, like a joke. And the other half, it was in full bloom! It was all bright flowers and shapely leaves and poetry. But one half, just right there, naked. And I had a hint why. I could guess why I was so because I had seen more of life. Seen more of the others growing up to be normal, seen why they were turning out fine. And I couldn't bloody do anything about it. It was done with, it wasn't in my hands. And I thought what the hell, its alright. I mean I got abilities here ain't I. Show me someone who sways better.

And I saw trees who swayed better. Whoa. I saw some great trees of my time when I grew. Taller I grew, the more wonderful and able the world looked. And taller and taller I grew, for I was making up in height what I didn't have in width. I don't know if my incompleteness made me or I would anyway have been, but I was strong inside. Very much. And able. And I was using my abilities, my flexibility, and the beautiful spread of my leaves on one side, to hide the other flat side. It was awkward initially, it clearly showed, but I got better. I moved like a beauty, I whistled like a philosopher, and I started to atleast look like a perfectly normal tree, from a distance, yes, but yeah. Infact, given my moody sway, my mischievous tricks, my wild whistle, I think I'm now positively hot.

And lonely. I can excite other trees, I can make them want me, touch me, sway with me. I learned the tricks overtime. But I cannot make them love my incompleteness. I cannot counter my uniqueness, only the appearance of it, only temporarily. I can act, sure. But I don't want to. I don't even want to cover it anymore. I only want the company of trees that accept the fact. I want acceptance not without, but with it. I want to be seen in complete exacting truth, and then judged. For I believe, in all totality, given all my cracks and cuts, counting all my scars and losses, I'm still worthy of the pride I hold in myself.

My incompleteness made me what I am. It drives my instincts and makes me want to grow. Its fulfillment is the source of my satisfaction. I wouldn't have fought so much had I not had this reason to. An unsatisfied being, alone, is creative. And though I have not a hair's width of a guess as to how life would have been as a satisfied, complete, normal tree, I can say with all my power of belief, that this one is way more exciting.

And hence it is that I don't blame the seed I grew out of. It was only half a seed.