Tom Waits: the Parable of the Crooked Tree.
My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads. “Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?” they asked me the other day. I told them this story:
In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day. ― Tom Waits
We were enjoying the rare pleasure of rhapsodizing with a barstool companion who had only recently been introduced to Tom Waits’ music. As an avid taster of salts of the earth, she was a bit abashed at having arrived late to this four-decade old (and counting!) party. Though empathetic we covet such opportunity; to mine the bard’s gems with fresh ears! But get on board the train whenever the hopping’s good, brethren. Soak in the ripened airs and raw lore by which cherubs and beelzebubs set aside impossible divides to carouse as dear chums.
There ain’t no devil, only God when he’s drunk. ― Tom Waits
(VIDEO: “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” via Anti-)