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From a tree

mtran's picture

I have been here since I was young, and short. The world I have been living in is a small and limited land. I grow up higher and higher just to see the surrounding with all its elements stay (almost) the same. Characteristics of shapes, colors, positions, etc. make no difference: they have all been there for too long and become too familiar that there is no reason for them to have a name. We are always in sight with each other I never miss or forget. However un-diverse and familiar this world is to me, it is still mysterious. Questions obsess me whether anything lies underneath the surface of water over there, whether I and all the tall plants that look exactly like me are of the same kind and so on. I long for an answer. I long for a better understanding of this world. The inability to move is a hardship. Whether it rains or shines, cold or hot, I am standing here observing and confusing myself. There are strangers who come to my world, stay for a while then leave me, even more puzzled, behind. There are fast-moving animals that keep running around and on my body, as if showing off their superior ability and teasing my helpless self. Giant as I am to many other beings, I feel incompetent to the world.

In “Unnatural writing”, Gary Snyder suggests that the art of the wild includes the the kinds of writing that “step outside the human”. So in this week’s post, I tried to observe nature around Rhoads' longue and imagine how a tree would feel and think about it. The position and characteristic of each point of view play a significant role in shaping its perception of the world.