Monday, September 05, 2011
A few drops of rain fell and leaves sprouted from the dying, decaying, stunted trunk. Tender, shiny and green.
Like nothing had ever happened.
Like the axe had not fallen on it only months before.
It was a tree growing in a footpath. No one had planted it there. The territory was meant for people walking, running, ambling on their way to their duties.
The territory was not meant for trees to trespass. For it came in the way of people’s feet that were used to following a defined pattern of movement that was not to be obstructed or hindered by trees.
Actually the tree belonged there. Anywhere. And everywhere.
It was the tree’s territory that people had claimed forcefully.
But they had claimed it and it was now theirs.
When it had grown beautifully, boughs and leaves and blossom and all, the axe had fallen and all that remained was a short stump of the trunk, almost level with the ground. For a long time, it lay there, dying, rotting, blackening, becoming one with the dust.
But unseen, unmoving, deep beneath the black stump, there was a pulse of life. The last pulse.
A pulse that was like a seed that contained within it a big tree. That could grow again into the enormous giant that it once was.
One day, a few drops of water fell on the very edge of the trunk, barely touching it. The next day, you could see a few tiny, green leaves, all set to grow again. To live again.
Their innocence and courage were only pitiable. Their confidence almost ridiculous. Their tenacity exasperating.
For all knew they would never succeed. It was just a matter of weeks before someone noticed their audacity and brought the axe again.
It would be good for the tree to simply die. To give up.
It would be kind of someone to take care that no drop of water ever fell on the stump. It would be kinder still of someone to bring the axe and complete what those half sensitive, thoughtless people had done.
It would be kind to strike at every root, every square inch of the trunk, even set it on fire, search for that last pulse of life and kill it. Once for all.
Because tantalization is a cruel thing. To die again and again is torment.
Every life deserves one death that is final and complete. Only one.
Sometimes, love is like that tree. It grows in a forbidden territory.
Love’s territory is all the world but the guardians of society have claimed most of it, drawn neat boundaries all over it and defined well, what belongs to whom. And what territories are forbidden to whom.
And they now refuse to return it to love.
So love becomes that tree. Sometimes.
It grows in a forbidden territory.
Only to realize someday the impossibility of its aspirations and to be struck down by its own disappointment.
It drags itself to a corner to die.
Yet it holds on to a last pulse of life.
One day it finds a few drops of that wretched hope.
And grows again.
With innocence and courage. And ridiculous confidence. And exasperating tenacity.
It refuses to die.
To be struck down again. By some more disappointment.
It would be kind of someone to kill all hope so love may die.
It would be kinder still to strangle a person clinging to a love that is impossible.
For tantalization is a cruel thing. To die again and again is torment.
Every love that is not meant to be, deserves one death that is final and complete.