Caveat: Tree #234

I believe I have featured this specific tree before – it’s along the road near the 8 mile bridge, and has that distinctive fork in its silhouette. But I thought the light was interesting, so the tree will be featured again.

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[daily log: walking, 1.5km; chainsawing, 1hr]

Caveat: Their greenness is a kind of grief

The Trees

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

– Philip Larkin (British poet, 1922-1985)

Caveat: Pointless Anxiety

Most of my anxiety is pointless. I realize this.

I got my test scores today, for the Praxis Core I took on the 10th. Although it’s been a few decades since I took a standardized test, I exceeded even my previous performance. I’ve always had a knack for test-taking, but I think teaching Korean kids how to do a-b-c-d exams for 10 years probably just made me even more aware of how to do well. Admittedly, the Praxis Core is an “entrance exam” – it’s not particularly stringent.

My scores.

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Later, I went on a walk in the rain. I saw Mike and Penny’s boat at their dock.

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There is a lot of rain right now. I saw mud from the creek staining the inlet.

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Caveat: 누은나무에 열매 안연다

I have been neglecting my Korean aphorisms, for this past year. That should change – just because I’ve left Korea doesn’t mean I intended to abandon the Korean language.

I’ll try to return to a once-a-week habit. Saturday seems like a good day to make “aphorism day.” Here, then, is a Korean aphorism from my book of aphorisms, and relevant to my new lifestyle.

누은나무에 열매 안연다
nu.eun.na.mu.e yeol.mae an.yeon.da
lying-tree-FROM fruit NOT-open
A fallen tree does not yield fruit.

I am of some doubt about what verb it is at the end. The best guess is 열다, “open,” conjugated in the plain present indicative. The dictionary doesn’t suggest that “yield” (as in yield/give fruit or profits) as a possible meaning. But I could see it as an extended meaning, metaphorically, in the sense that a tree “opens up” and gives its fruit.

The aphorism book suggests the pragmatic meaning is parallel to “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I’m not sure I quite see that, but I guess so. I would rather imagine the point being that you have to think about the future – if you cut the tree now, you’ll not get any fruit in the future. That’s not exactly the same as “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” But it’s related.

Regardless, I think the aphorism-creator wasn’t thinking of all the firewood you can get. I speak from experience.