The Way the Wind Blows: Background

The piece compares the way our views are shaped as children to the way trees are shaped by the force of the wind over the years. If we grow up with extremist, intolerant views among our parents and others who are influential in our lives, then we can expect our views to reflect that extremism and intolerance.

“Children brought up in a certain environment can only grow the way the wind blows. In Canada, we see along the Great Lakes and the western coast of Newfoundland trees that are just completely trained to the way the wind blows. I thought of that as a larger metaphor that all of us grow up in a certain environment where the wind’s blowing in a certain direction, and inevitably we get bent that way, so if you want to be different, and if you want to try to survive against that very militant [extremely religious] wave of wind, it’s the stone in the river: you might have to roll a little bit, you might get some rough edges. [It’s the trees in the wind:] they have to learn to bend a little bit. [It’s the] flowers in the desert: they’re in such a hostile environment they can only bloom at night, because that’s the only time it’s safe. These are the kinds of ways that, I thought, that’s how you can still be you and still not have to be hypocritical, but at the same time, still not have to stand up, a little pencil, against a whole army of swords.”—Neil in The Game of Snakes and Arrows, Snakes and Arrows (DVD)

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~ by rvkeeper on January 12, 2011.

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