An ancient gnarled tree:
Too fibrous for a logger' saw,
Too stwisted to fit a carpenter's square
Outlasts the whole forest.
- Ding Ming-Dao
What discerns something to be useful or useless? What if you fall somewhere inbetween?
It is based upon the judgement of the observer and their personal agenda,along with social and community expectations and guidelines. For instance, a cow is viewed as a source for meat in western society. However, you wouldn't harm a hair on the same cow in Hinudu countries due their belief that cows are scared because of the religious association of Lord Krishna, the cow herder. Hindus will use the cow for milk and commodity for trade, but cannot ever consider killing it.
So, for those of us you fall inbetween the cracks of the extremes, what do we represent? According to Ding Ming-Dao, "...it is the chance to live without interference and to expres one's own individuality."
This is true in the sense that we are not the most beautiful, handsome, richests and popular, etc. , thus we do not need to expend energy attempting to keep the status that so many must fight for each day to stay "at the top of their game."
As for me, I'd much rather being a gnarled tree, like a desert juniper, than a perfect straight up and down tree - very boring and mundane. When I see a twisted tree set on the edge of a desert landscap, I feel like the earth is reflecting my non-linear attitude to life. I think this is where our western definitions of "perfect" are askew, for it is in the imperfections that the interesting aspects of a person are found - the flaws that can be so grand.
Uuselessness is judgement
based on linear concepts
that have no place for those of us
looking for the twists and gnarls of life.