Sunday, November 29, 2009

Strangler Fig

While in Costa Rica, I was introduced to strangler figs. They get seeded on rain forest trees and start growing up to get light and down to get roots. They wrap themselves around the tree and sometimes end up killing it by depriving it of nutrients. Dead trees rot away, leaving a hollow center in the shape of the tree, with only the strangler fig remaining.

This immediately made me imagine a strangler fig doing this to a person, leaving behind only a shell in the shape of the person. A travel companion pointed out that the person would have to sit still for a pretty long time... But then he suggested that maybe this could happen to one of those monks who go out into the wilderness and just sit meditating in the lotus position until they die.

So of course I had to sketch this idea...

P.S.: These hollow constructs often serve as homes for various critters, and I figured I'd add that to my sketch, too...

Leaves at a hotel in Costa Rica

Leaves at my hotel (Arenal Observatory Lodge) in Costa Rica