Write a short creative or critical piece that is inspired by any of the works that we have looked at this week (in lectures & tutorials).
Inspired by John Shaw Neilson’s “The Orange Tree”
The 10-year-old me would be terrified of me now. He would not even recognize me. I can’t blame him. I’ve changed. We all do. Not just our appearance but also internally. My eyes have become sadder, seeing things in black and white. My mouth is scared, only saying things that are filtered, not from the heart. My mind is critical, looking at everything under a magnifying glass except myself. My dreams have changed, trying not drown in this river called life. “Who are you?”, he would ask.”You can’t be me. You and I are nothing alike. What happened?”. I wonder the same thing. “Life happened”, I would tell him.
“Do you remember the tree?”, he would ask. “We went there every day after school. Don’t tell me you forgot”. Luckily, I haven’t. “Of course I remember”, I would reply. Those were the days. Not a worry in the world. It was a huge tree near my childhood home. I would always run to it after school just to sit down in the shade and eat the orange my mom packed in the lunch box for me. I don’t know why it made me so calm but it did. There was nothing there but the tree, me and an orange. However to me, it was my own world. I would only leave until it got dark. Not that I was scared of the dark, but that’s when the frogs started to come. I hate frogs. Creepy slimy bastards.
“Don’t you like to go back?”
“I’d love to, but I can’t, buddy. The tree’s gone.”
“What?! No! What happened?”
“Look around”, I stand in the same spot where the tree used to be. “It’s been 8 years, dude. Of course it’s not gonna be around for that long.”
I feel guilty visiting home after 8 years. Everything has changed. I’m like a stranger here.
“Look again. It’s right in front of you.”
“What? This is a different tree.”
“It’s our tree. Look at the carving.”
Damn. I forgot about the carving. It’s what I did to tell the frogs the tree’s mine. They couldn’t have it. That is the same tree. I looked right at it yet I couldn’t recognise it at all. What happened to me? Why can I no longer see the things I used to see?
“You’re right buddy”, I sighed. “I can’t be you. I’ve turned into someone else.”
I looked at the tree one more time before going back to my parents’ house. I can’t call it home anymore. I don’t feel anything anymore. I stayed with them for a week before going back to the city. That ‘s the only place I can recognise anything anymore.