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.
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