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Posts Tagged ‘storytelling’

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Artwork by Linda Bravata

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Handmade paper and artwork by Mason

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intrusion

This poetry was submitted by Amy Oestreicher. Her courageous life’s story and connection to trees will be featured in a follow-up post.

intrusion
by Amy Oestreicher
1/28/15
POETRY AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Whether I am the trespasser, alien
The outcast, the tortoise turned on its side
I can see the stream from here
And I long to dance with the source.

Can I fish for you, blue glimpse?
A glimpse of the word as it was intended to be?
The realism thrills me

In a world of
Perfec
t:
geometricshapes,painted signs,brightredautomobiles,

my hollow shell overflows with relief.
For I have now caught the world in coy disarray, in bashful asymmetry.
(I’m sorry I disturbed you – I had thought you were done changing)

But fair lilies in the stream, let me flatter you:

You are such unperturbed beauty; a beautiful mess
Some divine energy had a penchant for modern art.

This trail I stumble down begs to recount to me, pleads, “Can I tell you a story?”
Of What? What – some kind of archetypal tale to us with its paw prints, bird calls, freaks and daddy long legs crawling under rocks like blue crabs
Moist air
Shadowed filth
rocking trees comforting one another in this dark forest community.
Blue forest glimpse – you are my catch and my soul is your bait.
Here is my glimpse of the world as it was intended to be
Realism thrills me as the wind now thrills your branches.

In a world of perfect geometric shapes, of painted signs, of bright red automobiles…
I’ve wandered, lonely and seeking a friend, and I ask, can I belong?
Crumble-crumble-crumble
I venture down and down further, and down.
I am a lone pebble, but unstranded, moving with the stream of wind that caresses the branches above me.

In each crumble, I breathe in the equalizing power of nature, of burgeoning love that transcends the limitations of being 5’3 when the trees are so tall.

The air sings and swells with a knowing comfort, a tune I have heard my whole life, as constant as the seasons

and now, I look up at the dense ceiling of trees and whisper, “Thanks.”
before even realizing that I had said it.

And now the dance begins! The dance that I can join too!
And the violins play, and there are brass, and winds, and chords, and reeds, and strings, and shrubs, pebbles, rocks, debris and slugs – sound and color and light!
Trees start to rock back and forth
dance with my awe,
They reply, “Yes.” Yes!

I am the lone pebble tymbling and tumbling, being shaped and molded by the ground beneath me, as it has beneath centiures and centures of lava and strata
And then I stop for I am stopped

A large oak tree firmly itself from the others.

I whispered to it, “Tree, sway for me…sway for me please…” it didn’t budge.

I’m lowered from my floating enchantment.

My soul-bait is anchored once again, as a fervent wind dodges
Corner to corner
Boomerang from trunk to trunk
Wind so dynamic it flickers like fire.

Wind so hasty it drenches flimsier trees with its own leaking madness.

All limbs of the forest shake madly now
All limbs of my body petrified with wonderment.

We are all shaking madly! dizzy and startled by the whippings of the delirious wind

Nature restores its internal pulse
The wind’s wrath quickly wearies
Settles
Smaller gusts
Internal pulsing
Regulation
Even nature must sleep
Internal pulsing
prompts a limb of the stubborn oak tree to coyly bob up and down.
And the world was finally in sync.

I thank this forest sanctuary one more time before I leave.
I am a most welcome trespasser, and my shell is filled with burgeoning blue light

Goodnight, forest.

And all I could think about was how wonderful it would be to hold someone’s hand, staring at the trees together, in simultaneous awe, no words in our breath but all winds in our souls.

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The Center (http://www.thecenterpalos.org/) at Palos Park, IL hosted an Outdoor Women’s Retreat this summer. Tree stories were shared with some of the results below. Thank you Lois Lauer for sending these images.
 

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I wanted to share an incredible project relating to trees entitled “Seasons Rewound”—and the artists who created it, Barbara Pankratz and Barbara Johnston, both from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

They described it as a book five feet tall with an open back page spread that is 7 feet across. They used paper called weed block that they were able to purchase in 25 feet rolls, 3 feet across. They built all the pages then drew, painted and cut. There are three layers, the background layer, the tree layer then a little layer in the front with seven openings. The covers are matt board covered with painted canvas.

They mentioned that they spent one day a week for three years working on it. As they said it really was all about the process—they were not really concerned about the end product and they both felt the book literally made itself.

It was a wonderful collaboration. In their words: “The natural world is at the heart of everything we both do creatively. This oversize book was our attempt to represent a deep emotional and sensory connection to the changing seasons and to communicate our “larger-than-life” enthusiasm for the stunning visual experience this constant cycle affords.”image001 image002 image003 image004

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At the Legacies II Conference in Dallas, Tom Burns kindly shared his contribution to the Treewhispers project. Beautiful! Thanks Tom!!! IMG_5613 2

IMG_5826Photo by Pamela Paulsrud

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I wanted to share the buzz at The Center in Palos Park, IL both in appreciation—and as inspiration to others, highlighting various ways of embracing the Treewhispers project. The Center has chosen opportunities to present papermaking, storytelling and guided walks. They are “growing their forest” of paper rounds having had instructions for stringing so that in the end it will be included in the upcoming installations and be consistent with the other “trees”. (Please contact me for these instructions and materials should you be interested in doing the same.) And so, with great excitement may I present the letter from Lois!
Hi Pam—We continue to enjoy the ongoing Treewhispers project at The Center. At the Little Art Show on May 25, we let folks make their own little 3″ circles of paper–they were so quick to dry with an iron that they could write and draw right away–and we strung them up—and called it our “sapling!”  Then this last weekend at our Outdoor Women’s Connecting With Nature Retreat we used pre-made handmade paper, but really enjoyed everyone drawing and writing on their disc.  The ladies were really into their memories of trees significant to their lives.  We strung them right on the spot, hung them from a tree branch, and had our closing circle ritual around our tree trunk of memories!  I really like this idea of a progressive forest being made as we progress through the summer.  I think by September, we will have a very impressive looking display to appreciate and then to send off to add to your collection.
Little art show photos attached.   Retreat photos to follow.


Lois Lauer
Program Director at The Center (http://www.thecenterpalos.org/)
12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park, IL 60464 

Little Art Show sapling 2 Little art show

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