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Enveloping and Interweaving Stories

The Unknown's picture

On the walk to my spot, trees had fallen against each other, creating crevices for animals to crawl through, nest in, and change to fit their needs. A couple of birds built a nest that rested perfectly balanced on top of the cluster of trees. The leaves whistled in the chilling wind. New vines crawled up old trees, enveloping layers of history, growth, and unrecognized or misunderstood pieces of the trees, the leaves, and the branches' stories. I could not help but think about this notion of belonging, though I know it is a western, white, not ecological word. What should live in this open, patched forest? Who decides who should be able to enter?

On my right, a beautiful, silvery tree has been marked with people's names, stories, creativity perhaps. But can a piece of art be creative and destructive or harmful? The people who had drawn, carved into this tree did not work with the tree; they could not ask the tree for permission to leave pieces of its core on the ground. How could they have understood the needs of the tree and abused it? They did not seem to have grasped its long, complex story.

For them, the tree seemed to be a writing board where they told their own truths. Truths somehow disconnected from the tree. It seemed to make the natural somehow unnatural, unreal, abused.

"I must go to Nature disarmed of perspective and stretch myself like a large transparent canvas upon her in the hope that, my submission being perfect, the imprint of a beautiful and useful truth would be taken."
~ John Updike, The Centaur