Some days it's simply not worth gnawing through the straps, or something like that.

Yesterday I was grumbling about the expected loss of a tree in my front yard, sacrificed for the Greater Good of the community. We're getting sidewalks at long last, and the tree, too close to the curb, would presumably have to be cut down, or at the very least cut back.

Now you can't tell me the tree didn't hear this. This particular tree seems, well, to have its own defense mechanisms, beyond what one might reasonably expect from a tree. I probably should have been less surprised than I was, then, when I came out this morning and discovered about a quarter of it sheared away, inevitably fallen into the street. I did, of course, attempt to pull the fallen section back over the curb, but I'm talking several hundred pounds of tree, way beyond my capacity to deadlift, or even to drag. Unsure what to do, I left a note for the city's Action Center; perhaps they can deal with this better than I can. And besides, it's Friday; I never get much of anything useful accomplished on Friday.

Still, I'm enough persuaded by the There Are No Accidents theory to wonder: could the tree be trying to save itself? Seriously. Discarding the section closest to the curb would seem to make it marginally more likely that the sidewalk builders might be able to go around it, or maybe just shave it a little thinner, rather than simply uproot it. (Actually, I think the real threat comes from the graders: this plot of land is nowhere near flat, and it will have to be reduced to a 2-percent grade or thereabouts before the sidewalk can be put in place.) It's perhaps a silly idea, but what else do I have at the moment?

The main worry, I suppose, is that I'm so overwhelmed by minor changes in my environment that I go off deep ends like this as an act of self-preservation. There have been times in my life when seeing something like this would slosh me over into the Slough of Despond for extended periods, secure in the knowledge that once again I failed to deal with the realities of life. I have since learned that the realities of life are somewhat overrated, and that when a door closes, a window opens, but unfortunately there's a storm brewing, and I'm going to drown right there in my living room because of some damned window opening at the wrong time. And if you don't like that incoherent narrative, well, I have others.

I shake my head and look around. The people who are always unruffled, who take things like this totally in stride, who never let anything at all upset them — how do they do that? And as I continue looking around, I discover that I don't actually know anyone like that: I'm not surrounded by fragile little snowflakes, exactly, but nobody gets through this life without something getting seriously screwed up.

Update, later that day:
And it's out of here. Turns out it was even worse than I thought it was: when it fell, it actually blocked the whole street instead of just half of it. The folks across the street caught it early this morning and pushed it over to one side, which explains the otherwise-inexplicable angle at which it landed. I put out a call to the neighborhood, and that sucker is gone, folks. Now all I have to do is wait for the sidewalk guys to take down the rest of it.

The Vent

#925
  17 July 2015

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