A tree with lush green leaves – (Rating: PG, Genre: General, Universe: The Diary of Casey Macford) – A diary was a place to think about the world, and how words could change reality.
Dearest diary, do you realise how deliciously complex words are?
It’s the way they are strung together, like leaves on a vine, that enables them to create an image or portrays a feeling. They have power to invoke emotion in another person who the writer will never see in person.
Say, if I were to describe a tree to you, it requires you to know something of trees. I could colour it with green leaves and long, spindly branches and you might associate it with a tree that you once saw outside your childhood home, whilst waiting for your parents to return from the pub. Maybe in that memory it was raining, and so the green I describe to you, the lush green leaves with mottled brown dots are suddenly muted in your mind by the thick pearly drops of rain that you remember.
Maybe you felt lonely on that evening, looking out into that rainstorm with an anger and confusion that only a child could muster. So when I describe the way rain patters against the window, you do not find peace in that sentence but instead feel a bubble of frustration rise up within you. Maybe each hammer of each water drop upon the pane of glass is like a nail being hammered into your soul, and you resolve that you never wish to go to that place again.
However, maybe you think of a different tree when I describe a tree with spindly branches and lush green leaves. Maybe you remember a tree that once stood on a hillside, resolute against the otherwise sparse greenery of the surrounding grass, and you smile. Maybe that tree is the one under which you proposed to the love of your life, and you can picture their smile and remember their muttered “of course, yes” which they spoke into your collarbone when they hugged you. Maybe a stray finger brushes that very bone now, and you catch the wedding band on your finger and you cannot help but feel happiness bubble up inside you. Maybe you resolve to go visit that tree with your partner, and reminisce about that moment when you both decided to journey through life together.
Further still, you might be reading this in the sunshine, sitting in a park which is full of people you don’t know. You are propped against a tree, which doesn’t have lush green leaves but pale yellow ones, and instead of spindly branches there are tall strong limbs which stretch high into the sky. Maybe you consider how the lush green tree I described is so totally different to the one you are sitting beneath now, and maybe you think further about how my lush green tree looks. In your mind, you darken the yellow leaves to the colour of the carpets in your flat, and the branches thin to resemble your long thin fingers which are covered in rings.
And that actual tree with lush green leaves and spindly branches? Well it sits in front of me, branches swaying in the wind. I cannot properly describe it because description, like all of reality itself, is relative.
But that is the beauty of words. They allow for every person’s relative reality, because they have enough width, depth, and power to invoke emotion in another human being. They force the reader to use their imagination to question their own reality, and maybe, think of something that had never occurred to them before.
And maybe, the writer themselves will be able to consider how their reality has changed as well.