Friday, April 2, 2010

the maple tree

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A block away from the porch on which I stand, a towering maple is visible above the houses that stand between us.

In the early-morning mist, its branch and bough flow in and out of focus like some Chinese painting of mountain peaks or a water color whose runny hues grow thinner and thinner and wispier and wispier until at some point they fade into the whiteness of the canvas or paper on which they were placed ... wispy, wispier, wispiest ... gone!

Offended, somehow, the eye returns to the color or form that seemed to disappear by magic into colorlessness and formlessness ... at what point does this something before my eyes become nothing but its surroundings ... and into what, precisely, does this something disappear?

There must be a point at which something becomes nothing, mustn't there? The eye and its mind demands some demarcation between "something" and "nothing" ... but strain as this eye might, the towering maple and its playful companion, the mist, do not accede to separation or control.

In search of companionship, I imagine the maple at its distance, wondering how it is that I fade in and out of focus in the morning mist; where is it that I leave off and the mist begins; how it is that I am wispy, wispier, wispiest ... gone!

But maples, of course, are not that stupid. Things do not become anything.

There is just this.
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