21 responses »

  1. This is sad, but poignant. I solved this problem this year with a living tree in a pot on our front porch. It is so pretty that I haven’t the heart to decorate it. People decorate the “cedars” (ashray juniper) which grow like weeds along all the highways around Austin – prefer them undecorated!
    Cheerio, Jane

    • Undecorated they can more readily remind us, I think, of the original symbolism of ever-green in the “dead” of winter…those early tannenbaums with their live candles do make me wonder..
      Cheers, Jane!

  2. Urrrgh!

    Perhaps that’s why we take out our artifcial tree every year – that same one the children (now all adults) grew up with – created many beautiful memories for all of us.

    Peace my dear,

    • After so many years with one familiar object, beautiful memories become attached. Your tree must be like an old family friend, center of holiday rituals…..that’s lovely, Eric. All good wishes to you and yours for the season and the new year!

  3. Being felled by lightning and lying prostrate in an evergreen forest is natural; being forced to stand and suffer the humiliation of satiny ribbon and globular trinkets is decidedly not! But what would Christmas be without its traditions?

    • Without its traditions? Hmm…then it would be Kwanza, or Festivus–“for the rest of us”. There are some years, though not all, when I think it would indeed be better to be felled by lightning and lie prostrate in a forest.

    • Such a dear you are, John, with such a good memory. You ‘re right, of course–I am ambivalent about haiku. They are deceptively simple and come to us from a great and long tradition and culture that is not ours, in the West. It is my respect for that culture and tradition that makes me hesitate to try and write them. There’s more to it –of the spirit– than three lines of 5-7-5 syllables, or any western academician’ s pronouncements about how “nature” and time ought to be treated. I have read deeply in the haiku of Basho and Issa, and that’s what holds me back. This Christmas one, well..I broke my resolve not to try it…but you know what that’s like, being a curious and inveterate poet yourself….

      • I’ve been thinking about that title, Cynthia. Adding a title to a haiku is a Western variation, isn’t it? In your case, the title is a decoy drawing the reader away from the true mood – and great beauty – of the lines. I wonder whether, if you were to re-post this haiku without a title (other than the opening line for identification) you would get different readers and different responses?

  4. So very true. It was cultivated for no other reason, though, like salmon and feeder fish. Those I tried to purchase as pets but–they lived only a day or too. Such genetic engineering!
    For that reason, after the mess of buying real trees for years, I purchased a “perennial,” which looked real and lasted for years. Liza didn’t mind.
    We’re all born to die, Cynth. We’re feeder fish, dwelling on this planet at God’s will.
    So very, very poignant.

    • Your saying that the tree was cultivated for no other reason may be true for these times, but it puts me in mind of the dark ages of my youth when we used to just go into the deep snow of the woods with saw, hatchet and sled to fetch a Christmas tree….one which, up to that hour had definitely had other reasons (if there be such for a free tree) to live. But that was a long time ago, in Maine, the “pine tree state”….

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