Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bonsai tree purchased to reduce stress becomes new source of stress

The other day when I was watching The Karate Kid on MPIX, it struck me. No, not the fact that Ralph Macchio weighs about 30 pounds in this movie. I was struck by the simple beauty of the bonsai.

Oh Mr. Miyagi, builder of decks and refurbisher of classic cars, I need some of that internal stillness you train into Danny LaRusso. You know, the stillness that makes him a martial arts master in 2 months so he can put a gang of blonde Power Rangers in their place.

But I'm getting sidetracked into a movie review here...The point is, I thought that maybe there was something in that old Japanese bonsai wisdom.

So I bought one. Now in case you're ever in the market for a bonsai, let me just warn you that 'bonsai' is Japanese for 'little tree, lots of money'. So I guess I should say I invested in one. I came home and put it in the 'power position' in my office, where I can look at it and become still like the mountain. I watered it right away. I talked to it and tried to make it feel welcome. I promised never to let it get coated in a layer of ice.

I have no idea what to do with it. I don't know whether to trim it, leave it, or take it out for dinner. It's not one of the little pine trees. It has leaves. What the hell am I supposed to do with the leaves?

We've now entered a state of attrition. I don't bother it and it doesn't bother me. Sometimes when I happen to be walking by I'll throw a little coffee its way and mumble a lame apology. And then I spend the rest of the day wondering why the nurturing gene passed me by.

I remembered too late that I'm known among the plant world as 'The Walking Death.' What's especially worrying is that the little leaves on the bonsai have all started to turn away from the window and toward the wall behind them. Like the tree's bracing itself for death. Or trying to commit hari-kari. I think it's scared of me. The feeling is mutual.


Blogger Moose said...

Ha! I once got a rosemary bonsai as a gift. I killed in in three days. No exaggeration. Granted, there was a heat wave. But still.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

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2:27 AM  

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