I’m feeling a bit experimental in my writing. The following has no dialogue and the sentences are long. I see it more as an exercise for exploring a future character and perhaps using some of it for that purpose. What do you think? And, while we’re on the subject – do you jot out character sketches in an attempt to get to know your characters better?
The Girdling Root
Once root girdling takes hold of a tree, suffocation and death are imminent unless the extreme decision to remove the offending root takes place. The specimen may succumb to death even with the procedure, most assuredly if nothing is done.
At first, I thought I’d had a stroke or a heart attack. In a way, I suppose it was the latter. My limbs still functioned as normal. My brain still registered date and time with the ability to recall any detail it so wished within reason of a ‘normal’ 48-year-old female. The problem wasn’t the body or the mind. The problem was the heart. Pain, alternating with numbness, pushed through weakened spots between heartbeats, grabbing hold, suffocating the source of oxygen and nutrients required for proper health. A doctor was of no use; however, the damage begged for repair.
Heartbreak is a fickle disease; one that requires constant monitoring, else irreversible damage may lay waste to any individual who harbors the ailment. As with a heart attack, once a piece of the heart actually dies, there is no repair of the dead area. If no treatment is secured for what remains, hope for survival wanes with every passing day. What of a transplant? No such convenience for the heartbroken I’m afraid.
I chose the path of so many. I ignored the symptoms for as long as possible until my breath caught at my own stabbing foolishness. No other option but to open my chest for examination. Ugly, regrettable and useless pandering to the emotion of grief that served no purpose settled into a lifeless area of impending necrosis. It was do or die time.
Accepting the void left where another once held court daily proved a vicious exercise of my recovery, but a necessary one. Recognizing that the risk was worth the potential reward, I cut away the offending root of my grief that served no purpose but to strangle my happiness.
I am now like the grasping, growing, forward-seeking roots of a maple tree forcing their way through unyielding sod, seeking new ground to explore. If I should, once again, encounter the pain of a broken heart, I will seek out the girdling root and I will cut it off before it threatens my existence. I will cut it off, and I will thrive, for I will not be suffocated by grief ever again.
—-The most I learned about this character came at the end of this writing exercise – I thought she was guided by her need to heal and be whole, but that wasn’t the case after all. It seems she was guided by survival at any cost.—-
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