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Posts Tagged ‘trees’

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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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my view out the kitchen window on a windy morning

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It will take awhile for me to download all of the pictures taken during this road trip once more to Dublin, Ireland but one image that I do want to share is of these trees painted on the restaurant window of di luca wines & trattoria. A local artist works with the restaurant to change the window scene. After I am gone the window will become more winter themed though these white trees do remind me of winter. We were lucky enough to get a table at this restaurant. Food was great and the people, both staff and other diners, were wonderful. If you have chance, do visit: https://www.diluca.ie/

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Its leaves have turned from green to brown

with little variation in between

but still the light shines through them bright

revealing dark beauty to be seen.

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