An Amputated Spirit


This tree was virtually cut down to its roots. I took a shot of it because, sadly, it has been constantly trimmed and never allowed to spread its branches again. It got me thinking about the human spirit. When portions of the human spirit are lopped off and kept that way, it becomes profoundly tragic.

Who can ever forget Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade’s (Al Pacino) words in the movie “Scent Of A Woman” while defending Charlie (Chris O’Donnell) against charges lodged by the school board:

“There is nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit. There’s no prosthetic for that.”


About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Art, inspiration, Life, movies, Photography, Poetic Imagination, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to An Amputated Spirit

  1. Hariod Brawn says:

    Poignant Don, yet to oppress and to be oppressed – suppressed? repressed? – sadly seems bound up within the human psyche to some extent. The modern epidemic of low self-esteem in The West suggests much of the same is self-inflicted. And who amongst us, who loves another, is truly willing to set them free?


    • Don says:

      I agree Hariod, so much is self-inflicted. What has pained me is those children coming out of those war torn areas of the world and the pain that one sees in their wounds both physical and psychological. Not sure how they come through that.

      I think the greatest gift we can give in relationship is freeing the other. As you say, not often done.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I like the photo a lot Don. You’ve given us much to think about.


  3. Food for thought there indeed. When people cannot grow to their potential, there is frustration and unhappiness and who knows where those feelings will lead.
    Thank you, Don, for sending your message of peace to our friend Paul, walking for Peace. He is in Tel Aviv right now and is hoping to be in Bethlehem for Christmas Eve. He is delighted to be getting more messages. 🙂


  4. Val Boyko says:

    Such a good post to ponder on Don. I do love that quote, and the movie! In this case I hope there is disease or a reason that supports the plant.
    I still feel sadness when I come across bonsai trees. Such suppression and contortion of nature inflicted as artistic expression.


  5. nrhatch says:

    I believe that Spirit remains intact even if our shells become battered and bruised.

    * “What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl.” ~ Rumi

    If we go within, below the damaged layers of Ego, Spirit remains intact and unharmed. There is no anger, or pain, or anxiety at the level of Spirit.

    Just peace, love, joy and happiness in the Eternal Now.

    God is the breath within the breath.
    God dwells within me, as me.


    • Don says:

      I’m with you all the way Nancy. The amputation is in the flow, or the being conscious of that which is completely in tact. Your beautiful and latest post on creativity described it so well.


  6. I love your analogy of the tree Don and your thoughts in this post. To me the tree represents life and who we are. The trunk and the roots need to be grounded deeply into the earth so we can weather our changes and storms in life. The branches for me are our connection to the whole and each other. We all have a part in the growth of the tree and every part is important. When one has lost their spirit, each of us are affected and so nurturing and helping each other to heal, heals the whole.


  7. A choice photo to illustrate your point Don! And I love that line from Scent of a Woman too. ❤
    Diana xo


  8. Don, I always treasure your posts, but this one is what my granddaughter calls “five stars plus three hearts” when something is ultra-outstanding. Punctuating the pictures of the amputated tree with the lines from SCENT OF A WOMAN is profoundly touching. This is a beautiful post.


  9. davecenker says:

    So very true and insightful as always, Don. As I helped my wife trim some of the trees in our backyard this weekend, it occurred to me that there is a fine balance (isn’t there always?) to trimming and lopping off. Trim a bit of the unhealthy and the tree comes back stronger and even more resilient than before. Lop too much off and you stunt its growth forever more. Thanks for the reminder and the very convincing photo to accompany it.


  10. ladyfi says:

    So poignant! But don’t forget that new branches can sprout from an amputated tree…


  11. Brilliantly poignant, Don. “Without hope, people perish.” I don’t remember where I heard that, but it’s true. Your post reminds me of how important it is to bless, not bully, with our words.
    All the best in 2016 ~ Wendy


  12. What a challenge this is to refrain from lopping off each other’s spirits while we must worry about body parts, too, in so many places around the world now. I wish we could wipe the slate clean in 2016 and just start over.
    Happy New Year, Don – thank you for being our friend!


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