Tuesday, 16 September 2014


She was, yet was not.

A scion of the sprawling and stately Viridian-bound-by-Sienna.Mere potential, not yet her own entity. She waited. Impatient to be... powerless to begin.

Finally released with the rest of her cohort, they lay abandoned. Some were snatched up by a night forager, the excitement palpable as they were jostled and shoved. Her excesses stripped from her, she rolled into a shallow indentation - one of the lucky ones. Discarded and abandoned, she lay nestled amongst the leaf litter and other detritus of the forest floor. Near her, less fortunate kin wasted away before even coming into the birthright of their names.

At first she believed a similar fate was in store for her. But as the days lengthened and warmed, she felt the fabled stirrings and realised the time of portents was nigh. A new fear gripped her, the uncertainty of the unknown. Good or ill, it would have to be better than longing for change - a beginning. Unsure of what to do, she sent out tendrils seeking for support and nurturing. Although tentative, she was successful and this gave her the confidence to try something even more daring. Gathering her courage she fought to grow and rise above all that was concealing her and keeping her down. Hard though it was, finally she surfaced from the soil. Basking in the warm glow of evening sunlight, she experimented with unfurling her newly crafted leaves. And so it was in the way of her kind that she finally came into her name. "I am Jade-superceding-Blue!" she declared, thrusting her stem towards the vault of the heavens. The forest was impassive in the face of this announcement, for the emergence of yet another sapling is a common occurrence, one that happens frequently every day. Undeterred by the apathy, Jade-superceding-Blue knew eventually the rest of the forest would indeed take note.

The passage of years is erratic for trees. Often characterized as timeless and wise in fiction, this is not always the case. To them the march of days can blur together… one sunset after another, though they acknowledge each has a mystery and splendour all its own. Seasons pass in a companionable, complacent silence with only the susurration of their leaves in wind and the ceaseless chant of sap marking time’s progress. Yet other moments can feel drawn out, their consciousness crystallized and concentrated in an instant. This deep introspection for the trees can be triggered by almost anything and they become lost in wonder for what feels like an eternity then transcribe their emotions in a flurry of activity. Though few humans can interpret their messages, their ways of communicating are of great interest to their own kind and many creatures of the woodlands as well.

It was not long until Jade-superceding-Blue made her first expressive artwork: the interplay of dappled shadows cast by her branches upon the ground. As she was new, there was little recognition for her. Her next attempt - the the creaking of her boughs in the strong gusts that heralded the arrival of plump raindrops - caused a sensation. Soon those elderly trees that surrounded her began to seek out her insights which were vibrant compared to their own tired discourses. As she grew out of her awkward sapling stage, Jade-superceding-Blue vowed to never ossify as they had done, instead to always be reinventing herself and following her passions wherever they lead.

Deciding such a stand should not be made in secret, Jade-superceding-Blue announced it to the forest in an ostentatious riot of blossoms that shocked the deadwoods. Her audacity caused many more to champion and flock to her, but her statement was not for their benefit. Instead it was her attempt to stay true to herself. Before suitors could even begin to curry her favor Jade-superceding-Blue caused the bulk of them to recoil in horror when she developed a knot in her bole, which was her moving portrayal of a butterfly eaten while concealed within its chrysalis.The rest of her coterie abandoned her as she spent the better part of a decade considering the first frost of the season in silence. Intertwined new growth which was the result of her meditations upon it received a response that was muted at best. Jade-superceding-Blue followed it up a few months later with a sprinkling of leaves that was a joyous paean to clouds. While she was happy with her creation, many thought it was passé and overdone. Their opinions did not worry her, uninterested as she was in accolades. She garnered notoriety once more with a niggardly fruiting, which encapsulated her disdain for the abundant and unbridled fecundity of her peers: plenty of words, but little substance. After a period of contemplation, she next set forth a torrent of pollen which was meant to be symbolic of the deluge of ideas she felt swamped with and her inability to choose which one to commit to. Many took it as an apology for her previous work, and derided her for selling out and going mainstream.

So it goes even now, the slow sonorous cycle of the changing seasons aped in miniature... her tenuous new growth reaching ever skyward derided as immature posturing, the folly of a washed up artiste seeking the limelight again; then her foray into peeling bark marking her as a feted celebrity. Loved or loathed, through it all Jade-superceding-Blue remains immune, happy in doing what she enjoys, secure in the knowledge that hers is a name of renown.


This was a special one off piece, with a prompt given to me by a great mate who saw me say a while back that I should do more writing, and came up with the idea. She even took a screenie, including a typo (so much for proofreading on my part):

Though it can hardly be considered as flash fiction, seeing as how it’s taken more than six weeks to get around to posting it. Some of that was because I was trying something new: writing it solely on my new (well, new back when I started) phone - a Galaxy Note 2 that Tho got me specifically for the stylus for writing. While the handwriting is faster than pecking away at tiny keys, it does occasionally do some weird stuff, and I tend to play with silly writing styles to see how good its recognition abilities are. Madeline is also a fan of presumptuously ordering I hand over the pen and the phone. Editing wasn’t done on it though, as that’d be a painful.The piece in general was an interesting exercise. I did a lot more passes in the editing of it, trying to weed out repetitive word use and to live up to the high opinion I have of my friend. It also makes me wonder if for my normal pieces do I do enough of that - I will have to go over older pieces and see how they hold up with a more critical eye to editing. I was hoping to make it to the botanical gardens and take a picture of the banyan tree there as it is the largest, most impressive tree hereabouts but getting there is not as easy these days as it should be. I did manage to get a picture of a new seedling on the family farm in Dong Anh though, so that is at least something. 

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