Tag Archives: cancer

Breathe

“Here’s good.” She said.

A man and his wife started driving off the highway because she wanted to see if they could go somewhere where there was no sound. They drive through a dusty plain until they can’t see the road, and then they get out of the car. No rush of cars, horns, alarms, bells. Nothing surrounds them except a single tree in the distance.

The car’s warm engine crackles and pops softly. She raises an eyebrow at him. He responds with a sigh and he leads her towards the distant tree. It’s hot, and it’s a long walk. He fans the both of them with a used road map. A little over half way the wife sees the tree clearly. A dryness has spread through its branches like a cancer. The husband turns to look back, seeing that his wife had stopped walking. For the briefest of moments they were alone.

“Here’s good.” She lies down on the ground, and he joins her. She rests her head on his chest, closing her eyes, imagining nothing, listening to the only sound in the world; his heartbeat. It was bigger than anything in that moment, it was the only thing she felt, and when she closed her eyes it was all she knew. If she so much as lifted her head, opened her eyes, it would be gone forever. Of course his heart would keep beating, but it wouldn’t be the same. It would never be the same.

Unaware she had been holding her breath, she finally relaxed, and let it go.

“Here’s good.” He echoed. “…Here’s good.” And he closed his eyes.

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Life’s a Birch

I was sitting in an office waiting. There was a painting of a forest of birch trees on the wall.

I noticed that birch trees always have so many knots on their trunk, like they’re falling apart and losing branches right and left. Either it’s bad construction, or they’re the laziest trees ever and simply get tired of holding their branches up. If I was a bird I would only build a nest in a birch tree if I was pinched for cash and needed a place to stay. Even the bark has given up and started turning itself into paper. It’s like birch trees don’t really know what they want to do with themselves. What’s the point of being a tree anyways? Yeah, I get it, you’re supposed to grow and get tall… but why? Is there an optimal height that all trees are trying to reach? Because the taller you get, the easier it seems to snap in half in the middle of a storm, or lose your roots in a flood. Why not reach a modest, respectable height, and stop? Are you really going to benefit from being taller if you just keep dropping branches along the way? They are what built you up in the first place, so how do you think that makes them feel? You sacrifice what you consider to be dead weight just so you can sprout a few more leaves closer to the sun.

What I liked about this painting is that it didn’t show the tops of the trees. It only showed the trunks and the forest floor. All the branches were gone, but everyone could see the knots, the scars left on the trees.

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