Virtues of the Willow

It is said that the Willow is both hard and soft. This is not the sort of paradoxical self-contradiction

which seems to pepper most outside references

to Zen, Taoism, or The Right-Thinkin’ Bloke’s Way To Eastern Liberation and Skeet Shootin’–

that is, it certainly sounds like your standard-issue ubiquitous philosophical paradox,

but you can’t get a whole lot more real

than a damn plank of wood, eh?

It’s all such a poetic way of pointing out that the Oak is strong,


puts out all of its force

and stays there,



eventually ripped over in the storm.

And the bamboo sways

for anything,

for anyone,

provides us with flexible tools,

and can face no wind at all

without bowing

at best.

And it is the Willow,

the Willow,

the humble Willow herself,

not knowing whether to be hard or soft,

she adapts with the moment,

and this,

little tree,

is the key to survival.

Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.