Wood (Part 16 : The Curse of It)
I didn't even ask your opinion on Christmas Tree farms : a 7-foot tree can take 12 years to grow : think of that space all those rows of Christmas just in a field somewhere waiting to be cut down and packaged : the seedlings start their lives in a greenhouse and they stay there for 4 years until they are allowed into the field to fully develop :
Christmas Trees are weird : in Europe they favor sparse trees with long branches and here in the US we like dense short-branched trees : we don't like the idea of sparseness : we want things so full to bursting that we can't even move : we are a tree farm that is over full and in need of thinning out : the US is a garden with too many plants it is abundant and beautiful and amazing and all of those things but it is also only going to be that way for a few weeks before it all collapses in root-bound thirst :
Is that what I planted back there : I mean we all want to be cultivated to grow as perfectly as we can with as few deviations as possible : as few broken limbs and overgrowth spots as we can muster : we want to leaf and leaf and leaf : we're all looking for resurrection after the fire :
I'm sorry I asked you here I feel like this has only circled a drain and not risen above : this wasn't the poetry that you were expecting what is this chatting nonsense about life cycles wasn't this about wood etc. : and you're probably right and I will put my hand on this one tree trunk and yet : and yet : I am deeply aware that beneath us the roots of this tree are intertwined with the roots of all of these other trees and that they seemingly are holding hands beneath the dirt : they are dependent and getting along :
But of course they aren't : they are engaged in a slow war they have centuries to do this : they are trying to choke each other to death :
Life is a slow war against not mattering : is that a dismal outlook a sort of nihilism : look outside of this : mattering isn't being famous or important in any real sense mattering is just doing yourself to the best and that sounds real self-help and is probably a good place to say let's go home we're tired and sun-stroked but fuck that I hate those kind of pat endings so...
What I want you to take with you : if anything : is the thing that I planted : and here it is pushing up from the floor of this space through the pine needles and wood shavings and larvae and debris of life : here let me get it up from the ground let me dig with my fingers it is good to touch the dirt once in awhile : did you bring a can or a bag or a jar it should be protected but it probably will not be and that's ok too : and this is also like a Hallmark card it's so much like a poem hovering over the image of a misty mountain : but it's also dangerous because it seems like love when it's actually like death : this thing you are holding I've put it in your hands I've given it to you and there are no take-backs : you have to think about it now and care for it and figure out what to do with it because I'm giving you nothing else to work with