Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Garden Narcissus

Narcissus is a character belonging to Greek mythology. He fell in love with his own image, staring down at his reflection in a pool of water. He was transfixed, perpetuated by his own beauty - and in time transformed into the flower, narcissus. He grows today in the classrooms of university academia. The following story was written in response to, and as an inspiration from my english class.

"Garden Narcissus"

The professor lifted his glasses from his face, resting his eyes during a moment of silence in the classroom. The students watched him passively. Each one of them, though quietly reading, writing, listening, napping, were seeping in the knowledge. How couldn't they? School was vague and idealist, and students were like flowers in vases; it would not be long before the dye would creep up their stems and taint them in a fabricated beauty. The more vibrant the color, the more the professors would smile at their own creations. Though such beauty is brief, and in time their petals would wither and fade without their roots, who were in desperate need to touch the elements.

The professor smiled over the classroom, and continued. Like a mantra, he sung the song of academia, enchanting the garden of minds before him. They repeated the mantra in turn, and the professor was happy. Would it not be long before they were like him, he thought? Every value, every notion of autonomy would be theirs, and his mission would be complete. Yet, the horror escaped him.

Within the students lied something untouched, unburdened, unyielding. Though their hearts and minds were twisted around with the dyes that had been so carefully fed over years, they had a special gift. It was the poison drop to end the rest, and one seedling dared release the sap that would make an end of this twisted botany.

"Sir," he said. "You feed us this, feed us that. You give us dreams and knowledge, and tell us to perform our will upon them - yet you do not truly let us grow as we must - that is, free, laughing, dancing up to the sun. Have you not seen the flowers dance? Slowly, they do, and in time they thrive and spiral up and out, crawl across the ground and breathe in the sun with unseen lungs. Are we not like them? Are we not alive? Your ideals are but one bud, and it has made a horror of your stem, intoxicating you with yourself. Do you not see? There is more to life than these little dyes, there is more to life than making us a mirror image of yourself. Let the garden grow freely, help us cultivate ourselves, let our roots bind together - let our roots grow! And instead of this little garden which will soon fade, you will have, and be one with, the forest."

The professor fixed his glasses, looking down upon the seedling.

"And without my order, what will become of you? A weed, a thicket."

"A lotus! No sir, you fear the destruction of order, yet your lifestyle ensures destruction becomes us. See the forest through the trees - I assure you there is more to this garden than empty flowers. Help us reach the sun, and we will make a lotus out of mud."

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