Sunday, September 14, 2014

Homage to a Bendy Tree

A theme of this blog has long been favorite trees.  Over the years, we’re considered favorite trees from Manchester to Falmouth, Vieques to Dublin, Princeton’s Marquand Park to Sam Houston National Park in Texas.  These are all places with majestic trees, dating back years before the birth of this nation and our brutal history.  Yet, few of them have seen the things the bendy tree has seen Tompkins Square Park, site of riots and blackouts, drag marches and confabs, stories and Times Up! bike rides where we still meet at the Gaia Tree, right next to her, leaning next to her as she gives us us shade and company.

Laurie wrote today to announce the tree may be lost. 

“The bendy tree is doomed.  :(“ Goggla moaned.  Others blogged. The Church of Stop Shopping sang and said goodbye.

"very much from the mystified "professional" bullshit,
and an arboreal application of gentrification" noted Rev Billy after the Church of Stopping visited the tree to 
pray for her after their rehearsal tonight. 

I’ve often wondered, if this giving tree could talk, what she would tell us?  What are the stories of ACT UP political funerals and crusty punks she’d recall from her years here?
What advice would she give us?
Would lessons would she recall, could she, can she recall, if only we could hear her?

We’ve lost so many trees lately, especially since the ravages of Sandy. Their roots disappear like memories.  These are spaces where communites thrive.  Deep ecology reminds us we are connected to everything from these roots.  

Recalling the struggles for the community gardens n the East Village, several garden supporters, such as JK, helped me see the gardens and trees as part of something larger, suggesting a close between gardeners and their community that translated into a joyous feeling of connection. For JK and many others:
This deep ecology is a way of being in the world with an understanding that we are a part of the web of life. That we are not here as some kind of horrible force or viruses from an alien race. And we’re not here as guardians and caretakers to be the dominant species. We’re here, zillion year old stuff like everything else. And this is a philosophy. It goes beyond the intellect. When you go to the green world, you realize there is a spirit and a global consciousness and we can connect to it. We can realize that the planet is a living, breathing being, who is incredibly wise, ancient, and conscious.

 “The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
Tolkien notes. 

Bendy Tree, you had deep roots. 
Thank you for the shadow and warmth over the years. 

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