Some time ago, I decided what I needed was to create another blog, so that I could put one type of Written Thing on one blog, and another type of Written Thing on the other. That, in turn, soon led me to create yet another blog – because the various types of Written Things were more numerous than just two types, and the idea had by then taken root: I needed a bunch of blogs for my bunch of moods and moody notions.
At the point where I found myself opening this third blog, I almost at once felt both as though I might have either extended myself too far, or else, once again, taken on a bit too much. Having three blogs did not make me feel somehow as though I now had less work to do, in organizing my Written Things. As to why I had ever assumed that it would, your guess is as good as mine, I imagine.
My plan had been simple enough: Separate Fact (i.e. Opinion) from Fiction (i.e. Stories). Readers who liked Opinions could go to one place, where that’s all I would share (and using different colour schemes), and Readers who preferred made-up stories could stay here, where I would endeavour to post only truly really made-up things: stories about people or animals or creatures that definitely weren’t me directly – although were nonetheless often admittedly inspired by what my life (the only one I can directly experience, while in it) made me feel and think about.
The characters in these made-up stories were oftentimes not not me… but they were still not me. Some of them were bits of people I knew, and then bits I made up, or thought about, for reasons unknown to me. Standard fiction-writing stuff.
The opinions expressed in the blog where I put opinions were of course usually more like me trying to be me… but they aren’t necessarily me either, and as time goes on, they might be even less and less me. People change.
I still draw a line between fiction and “non”-fiction, but I am no longer so sure I need to practice endless branching more than I already do. I’ve gotten myself out on a limb with all the branching – it’s made me a bit tired of starting things that I’ll never finish.
Whenever I come here (the Internet) to write words – whether it’s opinions or poems or stories or whatever else – I am really just trying to express myself, after all. The mode of expression might make for some interesting categorization opportunities, but is it worth splitting my persona into a bunch of specialist writer-characters?
And what if I feel like stating an opinion, and then immediately sharing a Flash Fiction piece about a tree whom I just made up?
What then, and where will it go?
Whelbus, the Middle-sized Tree Didn’t Go for a Stroll, One Foggy Afternoon
Whelbus was a middle-sized tree, as trees go. They had no legs to speak of (that they knew of) and so couldn’t imagine ever going for a stroll, and so never truly did.
This went on for some time – perhaps a full lifetime, if you are one of the shorter lives lived in the shade of Whelbus’s leafy top part – and then one sunny morning (or it might have been a rainy night, Whelbus had a hard time telling, at times), the notion occurred to them that they wouldn’t mind picking up their roots, and moving someplace new.
Why, might you suppose, would a perfectly ordinary, middle-sized tree ever think to do such a thing? Well, why do trees of any size ever choose to think to do anything, really? I can’t rightly tell you, I don’t happen to be one at the moment. I only know this story as it was told to me by a sparrow friend of mine, who told me that she knew some Crow who had heard somehow how it all went down.
All my friend and I (and of course, the Crow) know is that Whelbus one day somewhat woke up (I’m told it happens even to trees, a times), and felt they’d rather be … well, not exactly Here, where they had always been… but perhaps There, instead.
To a tree of almost any size, the concept of There is almost entirely foreign. It is a real abstraction to imagine any other place than Here, the place where you are and always have been, when you are a tree. In fact, even coming to terms with the idea of there being a Here rather naturally takes some serious considering. After all, without a concept of There, how in heaven’s name does one even fully understand about the idea of Here? These things rely upon the other, after all – otherwise, the whole thing makes practically no sense whatsoever.
But still, after rings (years) of gradually coming to terms with the idea that they had, in fact, been Here all of this time, Whelbus finally woke up to the idea that there must then be a There… somewhere.
This all took time to sort out, but trees very often have a fair amount of that. And so, this is what happened; Whelbus wished to know what it might be like to be There, instead of Here.
Well. You can imagine how that might have gone – that day that Whelbus first thought to try and move their roots… and I mean, really try to move them, and not just grow them a bit further outward, in search of more water and minerals.
All of that growing beneath the ground had made their roots quite entrenched in their ways on the matter: they were not willing to budge.
Oh, Whelbus tried. Believe me – because I certainly believe the sparrow that told me, because she heard it from the Crow, and they know all about trees… and their sometimes attempting to try things that they were never once meant to do.
Whelbus wasn’t the first tree to try the trick of walking uprooted and upright – and wouldn’t be the last, not by a long shot.
Why do you think trees fall on their own in the forest? I bet you’ve been told it’s wind, or maybe soil erosion, or even tree rot.
Well, yes, granted, oftentimes those are the reasons. Sometimes though, it’s just that the tree finally broke free, took one tentative step, and fell flat on their face. How could it happen any other way? Roots are not feet, and even humans fall a good number of times before they figure out how to get back up. They’re fortunately flexible (and resilient) enough to do just that, nearly almost every time.
But if trees were meant to walk, well, we’d all be in some kind of trouble, wouldn’t we? Quite thankfully (though perhaps not for Whelbus), they are most certainly not meant to do just that.