This is another one of those posts that I am going to write out of order. Where I write about a book that is currently on my mind and then relate it to landscape. I can’t help it. I just finished Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls (inspired by an idea by Siobhan Dowd) and—boy oh boy—that monster came down off of the hill, into my house, into my heart, and here he has stayed.
And then the monster comes. And he orders Conor to listen to three stories, and then promises (threatens) that Conor must finally tell a story too—his story—his truthful story. That is all I will tell.
(And even though I have just given you the bones of the book, I truly have not given anything away. I urge you to read this one…)
But Conor’s monster—oh his monster!
As Conor watched, the uppermost branches of the [yew] tree gathered themselves into a great and terrible face, shimmering into a mouth and nose and even eyes, peering back at him. Other branches twisted around one another, always creaking, always groaning, until they formed two long arms and a second leg to set down beside the main trunk. The rest of the tree gathered itself into a spine and then a torso, the thin, needle-like leaves weaving together to make a green furry skin that moved and breathed as if there were muscles and lungs underneath (5.)
A monster born out of a yew tree. How’s that for landscape becoming a central force in a story? Not only is landscape like a character, it is a character. Kind of stunning.
I was lucky enough to be able to participate in this ritual three times.
|my youngest daughter, me, and Callie|
What stories would he tell to her? And what story—what truthful story—would she tell to him?