August 14, 2009

Tree irony

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.
William Blake, 1799, The Letters

Poets inspire me, but that idea must be saved for another time. But they do. Words remind me of feelings and experiences. And I'm always astonished at how someone else's thoughts can tap so neatly on my ear and touch my heart.

Recently, I sat in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater. While everyone was chatting in the filling arena, looking at the moving crowd and anticipating the music of the night, I caught sight of the trees. They must be very old. They are very beautiful and stately. The theater was built in 1929 and in old pictures I've seen, there were trees pushing out of the hills then, preceding the seats.

Up they go. Skyward. Pines especially, with their reaching limbs and pointing faces. The layers of green color were lovely, no two colors or shapes really alike. Lights were trained on some of them for effect and offered an autumnal glow.

Reminded that these were the trees which held the "tree people" in the long ago Hot August Nights concert, I leaned to my husband who'd told me the story of his adventure that night. With the wisp of romance this idea held, I asked him which tree he sat in. He spun around to look, then caught my eyes: "Orchestra seats, 3rd row." With that, the lights went down and the trees became the standards. Catching sound. The observers of the evening.

1 comment:

crystal said...

I really like this piece. It touches my heart that someone else has experienced this before. Once I was riding along in the car with Steve on a road trip. I had never been to the place we were going, and never seen the road we were driving on. I looked out the window at all the flowers, weeds, and trees zooming by us. In the car it was peaceful, we were just listening to music, thinking about where we were going, anticipating the vacation we were about to take. A delightful buzz maybe. For some reason I thought about what it was like outside of the car. I thought about the weed on the side of the interstate, bending out of the crack in the asphalt and struggling to turn its face toward the sun. Watching the cars zoom by. I thought to myself, if we lived forever, and never died, would we eventually slow down like the weeds? Would we just fight to own our crack in the asphalt, with the best view of the cars zooming by on the asphalt? Would we start fighting the flowers, jealous of their beauty and attention, wanting to choke them out? For an instant I discovered in myself what it might be like to be a weed. Maybe in a way it's the same thing, because when I mentioned it to Steve he just got real quiet and said, "Yeah. But plants don't have a frontal lobe or a brain what so ever. So they don't have feelings or motives. They just put down roots where they were dropped."


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