Life’s Little Bonsai

The delightful Juliet Waldron, Crone Henge blogger and fellow Second Wind author, left a comment on my blog yesterday, saying we are all life’s little bonsai, and this image has stuck in my head because it seems so true. Life and fate do their best to form us into whatever torturous configurations please them, and we’re left to do the best we can with whatever shape we’re given.

It seems fitting then, that I planted a Japanese black pine tree yesterday as a symbol of continuing my life despite the traumas and dramas thrown at me the past few years. I doubt I will torture the poor thing into a standard bonsai shape, though I suppose unrestrained growth could make it weaker, and that would be just as torturous for the poor thing as purposeful mutilation. (I don’t know why I worry so much about torturing the tree. Nature does the same thing to wild trees, as you can see from this photo I took at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. And anyway, I just planted the seeds yesterday, so I am a long way from having to make a decision about caring for the pine.)

I’ve been checking the final edits for my grief book, which will be published in another two or three months, and I notice how often I acknowledge the pain of having lost my life mate/soul mate and then state my determination not to let life and fate destroy the possibility of any future happiness. Sometimes, now, for just a second, I can stand outside myself and wonder how the death of one man could have put me in such a state for so long. I mean, life does torture us with all sorts of traumas, it kills with impunity, and we all will face the same fate in the end. So why should this particular loss mean so much? Why should it hurt so much? Despite all these months of pain, I’m glad I grieved for him and didn’t just go on with my life as if nothing earthshaking and soulquaking had happened. His life—and death—shouldn’t pass lightly.

I wonder what he will think of the grief book. It’s so much of a love story, this story of ours, and we were both private people. (Some called us secretive, but we weren’t. We just kept ourselves to ourselves.) And soon the whole world (well, a hundred people anyway) will know the truth of our lives and will see how we dealt with being life’s little bonsai.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m being appallingly foolish for putting myself out there like that, and other times I figure it’s just another of the twists and turns that are shaping me.

2 Responses to “Life’s Little Bonsai”

  1. Howard Ayno Says:

    Right on sister. I’m sorry for your loss, but your courage to take it all for what it is truly is inspiring. Check out our online publication if you’re interested. Again, very sorry for the loss, but far more encouraged by your strength and willingness to share.

    “We both stare ahead at the unwinding path of illuminated darkness and distant blips of light.”

  2. Black Pine Bonsai Says:

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