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
provides us with flexible tools,
and can face no wind at all
And it is the Willow,
the humble Willow herself,
not knowing whether to be hard or soft,
she adapts with the moment,
is the key to survival.