Tree

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She is sixty-three years old this morning , dressed in blue jeans and a grey tee shirt , barefooted . Someone who talked with her earlier described her as having a mystics face , sultry eyed and secretive like a cryptic message , and it’s easy to believe .  This story , based on many independent interviews , is an attempt to take a closer look and to explain how a seemingly quiet and socially awkward grandmother , an artist , from a conservative city built on a river in Michigan , found herself in possession of civilizations most carefully guarded secret , being found in the northern woods where mighty owls fly in and out of this scene like leaves blowing in the wind , a tint of blue noir in the air . Her mother once described her as a gentle child of exceptional intellect  ( unknown to others ) born before her time . I saw a last photo after her disappearance , a self-portrait dancing in the mirror , a mirror of cloudy reflection where we see her winter fur coat , a copy of Vanity Fair , her Mexican Bag , a pair of glasses and a copy of a drawing done by Rembrandt .

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Look now , I want to show you something . Look at this , this best drawing in the world , there’s none better . Rembrandt does it with the tip of a rod dipped in ink . It’s a masterpiece with no pretention of being a masterpiece . Observe the tenderness of the scene . The position of the child’s arms enables you to feel its footsteps , it’s insecurity and doubt . And even though you don’t see his little face , you can feel his joy , his first steps . Look at this figure now , at the young girls arm drawn in haste and little attention to detail but who cares ? What matters is the love she feels for the child . She holds the baby and notice how she is about to let it go . But look carefully , even though her back is turned , from the angle of her back and head you can feel her attention focused on the child who laughs , laughs excitedly before he begins to walk . How is such wisdom possible to draw ? And this here is his mother . She’s use to this . This isn’t her first time . She’s standing nearby to intervene if necessary . Notice her heavy clothing , it’s course , dirty perhaps . And this is the father . He just got home from working in the fields and they want him to see the baby take his first steps . And this , who is she ? Perhaps a neighbor who happens to be passing and observes the scene . Do you feel the weight of the bucket she carries judging from the position of her left arm ? Rembrandt uses her to recreate that instant , to capture a slice of life , something as simple as life . It’s almost a photograph , a snapshot but time doesn’t matter here , it’s the idea , he had the idea !

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What is her idea in leaving this last photo we have of her ? Her brother tells me she had phoned him and spoke of the hours in that day , that last day before her resurrection . She goes to her childhood neighborhood , takes photos . Look , here is the rusty sewer grate of her memory , she is once again here and looks where the sewer rat lives , water drips and still scares her like an old nightmare .

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Here begins this day of roaming reminiscence in front of her old house . And look , here is the tree , the Supreme Being Tree she climbs as a young girl and teenager where she watches the world change as her little dog sits below and barks devotedly at anyone passing by .

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She tells her brother she walks ,suddenly aware , and feels her ten year old self with braids wrapped round her head with one loose that swings slow like a pendulum , holding her now aged hand . They walk together down the streets past her playmates homes , past their old grade school now boarded up with graffiti that changes it into a canvas of mayhem like the bell that sounds at closing time , past the YMCA where they cry sitting on the steps after President Kennedy is assassinated , waiting for her mother to come . They walk past the house where she spies on her teenage cousin and boyfriend kissing and past her aunt and uncles house where life is more raw and free .

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I don’t know why she returns to the streets of her childhood . Sometimes you do things without knowing why . Is she traveling , is she alive ? Is she living now with only the essential things … air , sleep , dreams , the sea , the sky ? Many months have passed since beginning this story and I can barely see her image now as I have come to a barrier like crashing waves immersing me under a beautiful sunset , cherished soft in my mind . And what about her secret possession found that day . I think she leaves clues for us to find in nature , in the animals , in the music , in museums , in life , your life , my life , something as simple as life !  And I can hear her voice sometimes , “Can you write , can you talk truthfully , can you grow your own food , can you raise consciousness , can you sing , write poetry , paint art . Can you tend to the forests and plant trees , can you listen for the truth , can you silence the wrong ? Can you meditate , can you teach , can you be a light bearer for the world ? Can you wake your heart and will you open your eyes now “?

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Look once more at the tree she climbs . It bears the stars themselves in the realm of everlasting life , and see , see it’s roots forever pure , forever immortal , forever true . And look now , look closer , there is a poem hanging on the tree .  I see her of my story young, I see her old and now I too know the carefully guarded secret ( no longer guarded )she holds so dear … I see myself , my Love self , my Divine self …. Life, simple Life …..aaahhhhhhhh

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Above photograph mailed to me after article was published … signed with her signature and postmarked , Planet Jupiter

11 thoughts on “Tree

  1. I would like to give credit to Henri Cartier-Bresson for the beautiful photographs of the girl with braids and woman on beach …. And also to Lara Zankoul photography for the last photo entitled “Orbit”

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  2. I just had to come back and visit those amazing trees, Meg, and those closing lines, well, goosebumps on goosebumps… these are deliciously wondrous masterpieces… they all feel a part of the novel that is being written by your hand as we breathe and live.

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