Romance or Vandalism?

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To my recollection (which is not all that impressive these days) I have never carved someone’s name into a tree (not even my own, which is the way I usually roll). It’s always struck me as the ultimate (and most damaging) form of vandalism, but I can also see a romantic aspect to it. I just love nature too much to mar its beauty with my own vainglorious self-promotion, and whether motivated by love or romantic notion it’s still wrong.

The scars that this tree in the Boston Public Garden carries may fade over time, but they’ll completely go away. This is the sort of cut that can’t be washed away, and that breaks my heart a little whenever I see it. Kind of like love and romance.

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