Wednesday, October 12, 2011

life as a tree

The difference between you and me is minimal. Yes, you, the bloke with the camera. Just for a moment, take your face away from that thing and pay attention. I don't know how long this bout of consciousness is going to last.
As I was saying, if you think about it, we have a great deal in common, you and I. To start with, we're about the same height, although I can't really tell how much there is overhead. You seem to keep yourself in good nick as I do and I reckon we'd be about the same age. What's you're IQ by the way? I'd say there wouldn't be much in it by the look on your face. You can put the camera back up there now. I've seen enough.
You look surprised that I would suggest such a thing. Let's consider the facts.
We both spend most of our life trying to reproduce, right. Spreading the seed around, so to speak. Monogamy isn't really my thing. There's a few of my hermaphroditic floral decorators over there. They just hang around all day waiting for a bug to pass by. Not much fun really, but you take the good with the bad, being a tree. The good thing is there's no pretence. We all look pretty much the same and we don't have to fluff ourselves up like a bunch of orchids to get any attention. The action is a bit lean down here on the inter-tidal flat so you take what comes your way.

 When I'm not chasing a bit of foliage, I spend most of the time just standing around looking useless, just like you. I know. You call it 'retired'. Whatever. However you look at it, you still don't get a whole lot done in a day, do you? I know you can move about. I saw you coming from here. Very impressive. Saw you fall on that rock as well. Very graceful. And where does all that mobility get you? Out here in the hot Sun where I have been all day. You had the choice and you still came out here. Very intelligent.

There's a whole lot of other things we seem to indulge in. as well. It may not look the same but the outcome is consistent with staying alive. Food, for example. You eat, I 'eat'. Trouble is with you, you'll eat just about anything. I've seen some of your wrappings float by on the tide. Not very enticing I must say. Me. I cook for myself - always. Wouldn't put any trust in some teenager to brew me up a batch of carbohydrates. I've heard about their 10 second rule.
Water and a few spices come in handy for the protein build-up. Straight out of the ground. And the air I breathe. Ahhh! Fresh as. Just smell it. You won't get that coming out of any air conditioner.
You're looking a bit hot out there. Come a bit closer and stand in the shade. I'm not here for your calling but I'm happy to share. In fact, I'm not quite sure why I'm here really. Ever since this self-awareness came over me I've had this strange urge to let others know about me. You know; tell them about myself, tap other trees on the branch and say: 'Hey. Look at me. See how good I am. Has anyone got a mirror?' I feel quite self-indulgent. I think I'm developing an ego, whatever that is. I keep looking at my own shadow to see if its the same as everyone else's. Is it too big? Has my trunk got a bit rough? Am I loosing my leaves?

That cluster of gossipers over there have got this thing going between them. I can hear them rustling from here. They're probably talking about me right now. They have formed a Grove who have this strange theory that they have some greater purpose and there's a meaning to all this standing in the Sun and lapping up the salt water. They even mentioned a Big Tree that controls everything and planted us here in the first place. Can you believe that? You put a couple of thinkers together and they immediately get carried away with their own self importance. As if my being here is serving any purpose at all, especially to the likes of you. Why, you come out here, take your pictures and piss off; no thanks, no payment, no gratitude. Then you go back and tell everyone what beautiful photo's you have taken of this great tree you found. Found! I've been here all the time just doing what trees do. Just remember who's keeping the Sun off your balding skull right now.
I think this consciousness stuff is highly over-rated anyway. Its giving me a headache and I don't even have a head.
I'll tell you what. I'll go back to being a tree and just 'doing' what trees do and I'll leave the philosophy tripe to you and your mates, who, I have noticed, have left you out here in the Sun talking to a tree. They're probably laughing themselves senseless right now.
Oh, and if you ever come to your senses and give up all this high and mighty, self-importance nonsense, arguing among yourselves and stuffing it up for the rest of us, come and see me. I'll save you a spot where you can paddle your feet.
One last word. That stuff about Purpose. Forget it. I have it on good authority - and it goes back a way- that we're just in it for the ride. You know, hurtling through space at the rate of knots without a care in the world, occasionally bumping into something along the way just to stir things up a bit. You know, like a mangrove on a mud flat

1 comment:

  1. This story kind of reminds me of this one time when I was standing in a field talking to a tree. It had been through quite the ordeal with some fellow who was waving a chainsaw at it. Apparently, the fellow ran out of gas just at the right time and the tree was left standing.

    This all left it feeling a bit sappy.

    Oh, c'mon, you saw that one coming from a mangrove mud flat away!

    What a fabulous, fabulous post Tom. I have no idea how you became this brilliant with your ability into insight and all that, but I'll take it. Top drawer.