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Posts Tagged ‘trees’

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I am indeed perplexed by this world today – the ugliness, the violence, the pettiness, and the thoughtlessness – but I do find serenity in the woods.

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three birds amidst the berries

Even as I compose this post I hear birds around me in the cityscape and so …

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red and gold

… I think I shall rise to go outside with my camera and see what birds in city branches I might capture on this beautiful day.

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sparrow in the berries

These birds, berries and branches were photographed this past weekend in parks located in Boston, Newton and Saugus.

 

 

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I know Phil saw his shadow and winter is not over, but I do begin to feel that Spring might indeed be in the air. Through this window I like to rest my eyes on the bare branches of the oak tree, knowing that soon enough they will leaf out, but meanwhile while the branches are bare, sunlight can flood the kitchen so that my tiny little winter garden of sprouts can grow. A small pleasure with big impact. 🙂

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Walking by Sanders Theater in Harvard Square.

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… viewed through a screen door.

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This past year I read quite a few slave narratives by African Americans who were interviewed in the late 1930s to document their childhood experiences and memories of slavery prior to the Civil War. These people, ranging in age from octogenarians to centenarians, were also asked about their feelings toward the people who had formerly owned them. The wide-range of responses highlight the complex relationships that developed between those who enslaved and those who were enslaved within an institutionalized system of slavery as it existed in the United States for well over two centuries.

The following words that I call Winter into Spring were inspired by one man’s memory of the tough times after the Civil War and his continuing close relationship with the family who had previously owned him. In broken English, he conveyed the depth of his feelings using visual metaphors. He spoke only of his personal experience, but I was moved by something that I felt was universal … how people experience grief whatever its source. And so I took this man’s words, tapped into my own personal experiences and observations of others to draft the following. It may be a work in progress …

 

Winter into Spring

I remember the day, both of their days,

the soil covering them like I no longer could.

What can I say except losing them was like being a tree in the winter wood. 

Understood?

Every cold wind, so sharp, blowed my leaves and tore them loose.

They fell to the ground, crumbling to dust, as if to follow those two,

my master and mistress, into their graves below.

I was in a world so dark I could not see.

Naked and alone. Stripped bare like a tree soon to fall.

Then one day I felt whole.

It was a strange day. What day, do you say?

That day it was like Spring, and it come bringing light!

I could see.

Well I guess you could say that little tree it was me.

You asked me how it felt and now I’ve told you.

When they passed I felt done, but the day did come,

though I still sometimes wonder why,

when I finally felt alive again.

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trees outside my window in tumwater, washington

With the exception of politics, you really can find beauty anywhere. These are trees outside my hotel room in Tumwater, WA. The morning light was just starting to appear. That light did fade but I expect it will come back again and probably bring with it rain. It is quite an experience to see bright sun and feel rain drops at the same time.

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