I have decided to take up the art of Bonsai. I am currently in the first stages of the art: namely, I have taken a number of books on the subject out of the library. Incidentally, Bonsai is within 635.9 on the Dewey Decimal system. Right now I am in the process of reading the first of the three books I withdrew. Tomorrow, I will probably intersperse my normal Friday activities with continuing to read about Bonsai as well as obtaining some pots and soil components for my endeavors.
In a few days--perhaps this weekend, perhaps early next week--I will begin with the real Bonsai work. By this, I mean that I will spend a fair amount of time combing the wooded areas in my region for seedlings and small trees that seem to be of a variety that would later be pleasant. These seedlings will then be transplanted to the pots and I will begin careful maintenace of them. I suspect that I will go out browsing for trees on a number of occasions so as to get some of the breeds that come about later in the season. Hopefully I will obtain between ten and forty small trees to take care of.
I will not begin pruning or shaping any of the trees that I obtain until next year for two reasons. The first reason is a pragmatic one: if the trees are pruned to early they will be weak and later plans will be interfered with. The second reason is idealistic: since one of my goals in undertaking Bonsai is to work on my patience, making a deliberate point of not rushing in the beginning is key.
You might be asking yourself why I would seek to make little trees and that is a reasonable question, which I will endeavor to answer. There is a part of me that feels that I need to produce something of an aesthetic nature and so I set about looking for an art. For a while now I've been doing some drawing (mostly sketching) in a notebook I have and that's ok, but I'm not very good at drawing and I always rush things to much. This rushing things bit is another part of why I want to take up Bonsai, because it is something that one can not rush without failure. With sketching, I set the pace; with Bonsai, the tree sets the pace (and trees, as most people know, follow a very slow pace). With a sketch, one will hope for a good drawing in a few minutes or maybe hours; with Bonsai, I might hope for a good tree in a few years or maybe before I die. Also, I expect that Bonsai can be a very calming and meditative art.
In short, I am going to learn Bonsai so that I may create works of beauty, enrich my mind and develop my patience in approaching life. Also, I really like trees.