Saturday, June 21, 2008

this is better

He was born in 1691 in the south of Germany. Well, at that time there was no Germany, there was not even a notion of it. There was just the German language in many parts of Europe. To be concise he was born in what was Frankonia then. He had his early youth in then 18th century. The "Roman Reich of German Nation" existed and it was spread over many parts of Europe. It had nothing to do with what is a nation today. There were kingdoms and kaisers who ruled in the most autocratic way. And it was accepted because it was "God-given". Towards the close of this century the age of enlightenment arrived with outlandish notions: like there is no such thing as "God-given", The rulers are just humans too, the organized religions have way too much power etc. This led into the French Revolution. And the oak knew nothing of this in the remote village of Fankonia. Under the oak the judges sat and applied law and what they thought was law to the pitty struggles of the villagers. Then Napoleon's army came all over Europe and also arrived in the Fankonian village. They hung a few folks on the oak. Later on the oak had no knowledge at all that Frankonia was given to Bavaria by Napoleon. So all of a sudden it was a Bavarian oak. Then came the German romanticists and invented the "German Oak" as the national tree and one of the symbols of this upcoming outlandish notion of "nation". And the oak was proud to be THE German tree (only to find out with disbelief that the English dared to call it "English oak". Well, nationalism was on the upswing then.). In 1848 during the brief German revolution they hung some more folks on this oak. Then came the German Reich in 1871 and it was a real "German Oak" then. It saw the first World War, the Third Reich and WWII. And it was ugly. But quiet and peaceful times arrived and people forgot about the old stuff. And it shook it's head abut mankind. Now it is an old oak and has seen it all and still is the most prominent tree of the village. It is hollow and children hide in the hollow. And the children know nothing about the past and will not know later. Someone set fire to it, The old top broke off fifty years ago. But it is still a beautiful tree wit a lot of character which comes from experience. And it will live a couple centuries from now.
And now someone says that the oak is not a good bonsai. Why bonsai? What is a bonsai? It is supposed to have "faults", like not a very good nebari, deadwood on a deciduous tree. And the biggest crime is that the two lowest branches are "Bar Branches". Where does all this nonsense come from? It comes from Asian gardeners. Who are they to tell this oak what a tree should look like? And why should gardeners dictate our artistic taste?