I spent a considerable time exploring the tree from all seemingly accessible angles, and I am convinced that it, in return, did no less.
As I wrote in the foreword, it did not wish to be spotted, worse yet looked at, paid notice to or approached. Yet approach I did. I could not help it. I found the need to do so irresistible. Yet I would not be surprised if I was the first ever human being who chose to do so, who ever consciously elected to pay attention to it.
Consequently, as I began to cross over the gray, dull, dead and indifferent road, the tree’s rather startled reaction was not surprising. Shock of seeing a human being intentionally approaching it was fathomable.
Yet, as I began to near it, it simply could not contain itself. It was not able anymore to pretend to be just like any static tree oblivious to the world it had been spying with curiosity from its hidden space away from the road, which till now acted as the moat protecting it from the unaware civilizations occurring all around.
So unlike all of its passive and indifferent neighbors, unexpectedly, uncontainable or even despite itself, it startled, jumped and turned towards me, the approaching stranger from the proximate yet distant world.
Till this very instant I was able to watch it being unnoticed, aloof, from the security of its hiding, but no more.
Thus, before either of us had the time to come to terms with the shock of this transpiring encounter, both of us, it and I, found ourselves literarily face to face, disbelieving, yet also scrutinizing each other’s eyeballs.
I did not, at that very instant, consider the range of emotional turmoil that must had been occurring within its mind. Now, a brief after, I did identify with its dilemma. It’s as though I suddenly, out of the blue, found myself face to face with an approaching extraterrestrial being from another domain, space or dimension?
Facing such a shocking occurrence most, if not all of us, would likely scream and then, immediately after, turn to attempt to run as fast as our two extremities, known as legs, could fare to carry us away to safety.
But imagine, what if such appendages have, over prolonged time, grown deeply rooted into the ground? What can one do in such a circumstance? One simply and indisputably finds oneself inescapably trapped.
Thus, as I neared, the tree had no option but to react. And this it did, in the range of ways and manners that totally caught me off guard. With my every approaching step, new features, each with its own unique facial structure, distinctiveness, character, textures, emotional expression and identity, began to emerge, all from what was one striking entity encompassing them all.
The nearer I moved to it the more dramatic and expressive it was becoming in its infinite personifications. Yet all of the faces emerging from within its body projected initial shock, surprise, concern or even panic?
These amazing entities emerged not only from the ground, or at my own eye level, but began to appear all above me. Initially they were likely surveying the intruder down beneath. Maybe they were attempting to determine whether he, or whatever its definition may be, poses any sort of an imminent danger to them as individuals, or the communal collective they were contributing their idiosyncratic characters to?
And soon, whichever way I shifted towards, in whichever direction my eyes turned, intuitively or not, I found someone staring down at the little me below. While somewhat disconcerting, this was truly startling. Not in a wicked, mischievous or distrustful fashion at all. It was wonderful to find myself become such an epicenter of their attentions. In an odd way, I felt though I am being not only recognized but also greeted, granted, with considerable skepticism, at least for now? Who knows, maybe I will be able to win its trust?
Yet again, the nearer I approached, the more faces, enchantingly materialized neared each of my locations. Despite them being members of the same lineage, their features and textures were spectacularly diverse. Soon this mute dialogue turned into a magical face-to-face encounter between our rather diverse species. And the age long truth became apparent once again. Words are not critical to communicating with Nature. What’s more, on further thought, maybe they were not voiceless or silent at all? Maybe I, the human, was incapable of hearing their exclamations, exchanges between themselves or “words” directed towards me?
While the above ones seemed shy and timid, simultaneously they were curious and truly interested in me. Yet some of the characters seemed shocked, dumbfounded by my impertinence? How does this hominid dare to invade our privacy? We have been hiding away in shadow all these years. What will happen now?
Whether spiritual or telepathic, the inaudible, extraterritorial form of interaction between them projected, to me, an air of psychopathic dynamism. Where they attempting to frighten me away from their dominion?
What is on the mind of this little hominid? What will he do to us now? Will he chop us out of our existence?
Obviously, it is rather arrogant of me to be putting words into its mouth, since the only interpretations I am able to endeavor are those which are influenced and limited by my own human experience and history. And since their perception and experiences likely come from an altogether other dimension, so to say, we humans are likely not even capable of reading or grasping their thoughts and emotional expressions.
Yet other personalities awakening to my presence were less panicky, more curious, inquisitive? I found it thought provoking, and not for the first time, how much emotion can be expressed by entities we humans consider to be inanimate, not alive. Maybe this is a reflection on the limitations of our human perceptions?
For would it not be just amazing if not just trees but all of the other matters, whether life, organic or not at all, rocks or grass, water, winds, or the boring road, our own walls, even air, were all of this time, maybe even since our arrival into what once was their own undisputed environment, attempting to speak to us, to establish a dialogue, struggling to communicate their own unique ideas, experiences and perceptions?
Imagine the stunning modes in which our perception and understanding of reality would suddenly expand. While at it, imagine how much more respectful and tolerant of everything in our environment we would be. In a perfect manner, we would become a true partner in the total ecosystem, instead of the tyrants of it.
But back to the reality, assuming of course that what I am writing about can truly be referred to as such? What also struck me were certain unquestionable similarities between the shapes of their features and those others within the known to us animal kingdom. Like the Rhinoceros or maybe a Triceratops above, or an alligator down below, and definitely the enormous turtle face curiously gaping at me from high above.
Or the long necked smiling Argentinosaurus of the long gone past, and especially the cute and very shy looking chameleon, unsure of whether to fully reveal itself from its bark textured camouflage. Is it possible that certain comparable blueprints are being reused by Nature in its creation of various life forms around? Maybe we are much more interconnected, interrelated, interwoven with all of the other forms about us than we humans dare to consider? Who knows, maybe we would find ourselves threatened by a thought of our species not being as, or not at all, superior to all of the others as we deliberate ourselves as being?
In a teasing manner, this encounter transformed into a playful guessing game for me attempting to rapidly decipher the personality of each of the distinct yet completely unfamiliar faces. I would not be surprised if this was actually a mutually experienced sensation? It made me yearn for a deeper contact, and wander if a subliminal, emotional, an altogether new verbal, but above all an inter-species language was feasible.
So, as the entire all-encompassing entity, it in turn incorporating all of the others, I found this tree to be far more distinctive and expressive in its shape, posture, facial and textural expressions, than any of other life forms, species and humans I have encountered thus far during my extensive, turbulently wanderous journey of life that made, impacted, shaped and reshaped the inner and external me into who I am now.
Who knows, perhaps this is why this very tree has resonated with me so? Maybe this tree is, at least in my mind and own perception, but not the body, or at least not yet, and not for a long time to come I hope, is a reflection of who I am? Or how I identify myself from within, or how I feel about my life’s experience?
Maybe this is why I have thought much about it, reflecting extensively and deeply enough on it, so to now write about it? Also to repeatedly return to it for images which have been integrated into this essay? After all, each of us as individual merges many personae and experiences projecting varied emotional acuities. This is the very case of this tree, its many faces or expressions projecting diverse emotions and thoughts. This in turn makes me wonder why we humans consider ourselves better and superior to all of the others. Is it because we are able to beat upon our chests while boisterously boasting about how superior we are?
I spent a considerable time exploring the tree from all the seemingly accessible angles or sides, and I am convinced that it, in return, did no less. Throughout my visit with it, I continuously felt its various faces and eyes and all of the other of its features and characters following me around while I journeyed all around it.
Yet I do recognize that what I have seen or captured through all these images is barely skin or paper slim.
For what if I was able to explore the same tree, its complex intertwined entity, from the above, like a bird? Better yet, what if I could explore this incredibly intricate tree being from below and under the ground, like a mole for example? This alone would be like a trip into another ecosphere, space and one-off dimension. And best of all of the probabilities, and there is a sundry of such that I can think of, what if I was adept at entering the tree to explore it from within, like a squirrel, or woodpecker, or even better still, a petite ant?
And if all the of the above opportunities were not enough, I could imagine an incredible expedition I might embark on not as an animal entity but rather a much teenier creature still, a miniscule and an infinitesimal organism. I have no doubt that I would be treated to an unbelievably breathtaking and mind blowing trek, an expedition into an unknown universe of infinite texture, matters, organisms, and all of other boundless wealth of only seeming impossibilities. Yet we are all well aware that such fabulous dimensions do exist.