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"A man cannot create bonsai, nor can a tree; it takes both, and they must understand each other. It takes a long time to do that. One memorizes one's bonsai, every twig, the angle of every crevice and needle, and lying awake at night or in a pause a thousand miles away, one recalls this or that line or mass, one makes one's plans. With wire and water and light, with tilting and with the planting of watter-robbing weeds or heavy root-shading ground cover, one explains to the tree what one wants, and if the explanation is well enough made, and there is great enough understanding, the tree will respond and obey - almost. Always there will be its own self-respecting, highly individual variation: Very well, I shall do what you want, but I will do it my way. And for these variations, the tree is always willing to present a clear and logical explanation, and more often than not (almost smiling) it will make clear to the man that he could have avoided it if his understanding had been better.
"It is the slowest sculpture in the world, and there is, at times, doubt as to which is being sculpted, man or tree."
--Theodore Sturgeon, Slow Sculpture
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