Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I am what you seek

The Japanese maple across the street, the one I have dubbed "The Tree of the Hanging Squirrels," is now summer-plump with deep red leaves. Breezes and raindrops tousle its ruddy locks. Sunshine shows it to good advantage. It nourishes the eye as it nourishes the squirrels and birds that dodge and dart within its confines.


Is there anything that is not like this tree -- its sturdy trunk giving way to well-toned boughs giving way to reaching branches giving way to delicate twigs giving way to sky-bound buds? Shelter and food in every direction and yet there is something, for squirrel or man, that encourages an adventure that leads further and further from the sturdy trunk ... up and out to where the buds are sweeter somehow and the nourishment more fulfilling?

Trunk, boughs, branch, twigs ... all of them offer a decent life, a decent nourishment, a decent safety and yet at the far reaches, where the footing is tricky and perhaps pretty damned dangerous, where there is an increasing sense that no more footing can be found ... and somehow it whispers and beckons and has a mesmerizing force: "I am what you seek."

This is nose-bleed country, the air as thin and refined and delicate as the twig that maintains the last vestige of connection with trunk and bough and branch. Music, art, religion, brick-laying, marriage, bicycling ... there is no tree that does not have its beckoning distances. They may be distances that others choose not to attempt, but that does not mean the distances do not beckon and whisper... the purchase point where all purchase is lost: "I am what you seek."

The nourishment is not missing in other, less tenuous places like trunk and bough and branch, but every now and then it is hard not to wonder and tiptoe into the far reaches where there is no room for two and, if the truth be told, there is not even room for one.

Will this nourishment fill some perfect bill at last?

There is no knowing.

Take a bite.

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