Bonsai+Insane = Boinsane or Bonsane


If you Google “boinsane”, it will respond “Do you mean: bo insane”.  The top search brings up Tae Bo Insane Abs DVD video of Billy Blanks.  Billy Blanks is a martial arts dude turned fitness guru.  This means that I maybe the first to use this word to describe a bonsai enthusiast that have become insane or on the verge of becoming insane.

I used to love playing the board game Scrabble that’s probably why I like word play.   The word bonsa”I” is in bo”I”nsa(  )ne but the ” I “ is displaced.   Yes, the ” I ” is displaced.  At one point or another some of us our ego or self may have been displaced.  Sometimes we are at lost to get ourselves re-centered.

Let me reframe this word in a positive perspective.  If the “I” in “boInsane” is completely removed from ahthe word, it becomes “Bonsane”.

Bonsane– noun: Is a person who is completely connected with the art of bonsai that he/she has reached a level of mindfulness beyond himself/herself to a point that from the outside perspective he/she appears to have lost his mind.

Are you still with me?  I know you’re on the verge of clicking away from this post because you thought you will learn bonsai techniques, wiring, pruning, etc.  There’s certainly plenty of that already going around and I have some that I share here.

I’m exploring a different dimension of bonsai that is rarely or even discussed by bonsai artist, enthusiast, or hobbyist.  The intangible or invisible part.  Energy, spirit, philosophy?  For me, there’s something more about this art that I will not try to explain on this one post but rather relate my experiences.

Saturday (the day beginning our 3 day memorial weekend) I did work for a client with my crew.   I did mostly the pruning of trees.  I sent my crew back ahead to our shop since they’ve been working 9 hours already on a holiday weekend.  I decided to stay 2 more hours because I was working on pruning black pines and frankly was excited to see them cleaned up.  By the time I got home it was around 8pm at night.   That’s a long day considering we started around 7am that day.   I was hungry, thirsty, when I got home but somehow I still had energy.  After that long day of work, my clients were very pleased and must have inspired and gave me that extra energy.

I came home somehow itching to work on a bonsai tree.  After dinner I went in my dark bonsai garden with my phone light and picked out a tree to work on.  The Ilex Crenata – Japanese Holly was the tree that spoke to me.

I did some light work on the foliage and I did some light carving on the deadwood.  If it wasn’t for my wife visiting me in my office where I was doing the work, I would have completely lost track of time.  It was already 11:30 pm when I stop working on my tree.  I should have been sleepy and tired but I noticed how fully awake I was.

Where is that energy coming from?  I truly don’t know.   But here’s a little history and some of my thoughts while working on this little tree.

This little tree was rescue from a landscape project about 4 or 5 years ago.   I had a rough vision of what I wanted to do and about 2 years ago did the initial work on this tree.  It didn’t look very good for about year.  This Spring however, I started to fertilize this tree earlier.  I noticed how it’s responding very well and growing new leaves.   Although, I take care of it, it’s just been a tree tucked in the corner.  But lately,  after noticing how well it’s responding, my attention have been gravitating towards it.  The initial work I did on this tree was just enough to get it started but now I’m itching to refine it as it’s looking much better.

I’m not sure what you call that but there’s definitely an interaction between me and this tree.  There’s definitely an “energy” exchange.  Realizing what my tree needed, I gave it fertilizer, the tree responded, it caught my attention,  I worked on it more, and it looks better, when it looked better, it puts a smile on my face, I am HAPPY.  I’m BONSANE.   It’s been a busy, crazy week, but spending a little time with my trees, keeps me sane.  I’m BONSANE.

Tell  me what you think.  What’s your experience?  It  maybe not be just bonsai it could be anything you’re passionate about.



After doing minor work to this tree.


Published by tony bonsaiko

My little trees are my daily reminders of our grand connection to this beautiful and mysterious universe.

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