Tuesday, November 27, 2007

on carnivores, magic, and trees

One of my favorite lines from comics is when John Wilder (a character from Warren Ellis's Planetary) talks about living for the rare moments when the world is different than advertised...more unusual, weirder, more mysterious, more magical.

The problem is that these moments don't come around very often. Usually, we get caught up in our routines. Lately, I am dealing with the end of a semester, and my thoughts turn to how the issues my students have never really seem to change; the paper topics are different, but that's about it. My job never really changes; since all I teach is freshman comp, there's little about my semesters that presents new challenges. I drive the same way to work each day, drink the same coffee, go to the same house in the same town I've lived in for the last nine years.

I hate negative change. It makes me think that the world, this existence, is a place of decline and repetition...and there's no magic in that.

So it makes me particularly happy when I get to see something unusual, something unexpected, something that reminds me that the world is still a place with great mysteries in store.

A while back, I read a news article about some carnivorous trees in India. Really. I've heard of carnivorous plants before, like the tres-cool Venus Flytrap, but these are on a whole other level. These have been seen trying to eat cows...yes, cows. Rumor has it that they have also grabbed humans.

Of course, I can't find a photo anywhere. But even though I can't see it, the very idea that these meat-eating trees exist excites me. There are new things out there to explore, to experience. Life throws a lot of stuff at us, and it's reassuring to find out that life can be stranger than any science fiction. It's cool that this kind of thing is out there, and it makes me want to broaden my experiences, find some more unusual stuff myself, personally experience more of the mysteries of life.

Doesn't the very idea of a man-eating tree just scream magic? Mystery? Wonder?

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