underthewillows: (Default)
[personal profile] underthewillows
It is so strange to have outlived buildings.

We think of stone and mortar as being more lasting than flesh, but it is in memory that continuity lies.

The vulnerability of an oral tradition: so much that is never written down, and if no-one asks (or listens), so much is lost, the chain of transmission broken.

- Do you see that yew tree?  Do you know why the trunk is twisted like that?

- Tell me.

- Because it grew up and around a wall, the wall of a house.  It leaned on the wall, and its trunk developed that bend to accommodate it.

- But there is no wall there, now.  No house, no ruins.  Nothing but the tree and the grass.

- Because, over thirty years or more, the house was left abandoned when the original inhabitants moved out, died.  The house fell into ruin, then the stones of the ruin were cleared away.  But the tree remained and remains.

You see those houses?  I remember -

- Don't tell me.  You remember when it was all fields round here?

- Yes.  Yes, I do.

Even the mountains wear down, in time.

Date: 2012-09-03 10:05 pm (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) (Zathras)
From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka
I grew up (from about age eight to sixteen) in a log cabin which has since been bulldozed. (It was, in fact, slated to be torn down before we even moved in, but we made it last almost another decade, though by the last winter the insulation was at wear-coats-indoors levels...ah, memories!) I'll probably never go back to that part of the country (it being 900 miles north of here, me being broke and with little incentive to go back to a place with such mixed memories), and it makes me sad that if I do, my house won't be there. But then, nothing would be quite the same even if it was, would it?

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