I am tree


What is a tree?
I asked a tree today.

“What are you tree?”
I am tree, the tree said.

“But what does that mean “I am tree”? How can I understand what it is to be a tree, how to be a good tree, how not to be a bad tree, how to be a strong tree … What is it I must be to be a tree?”
I am tree, the tree said.

“Tree, you must think me slightly mad. For I know you are a tree, but how can I experience what it means to be a tree? How can I know what you mean when you say “I am tree”? I wish to be a tree and yet I do not know how. I wish to be a fine, healthy, strong tree just like you – yet I must first know how. Dear tree, can you not see I wish to be you!”
I am tree, the tree said.

“Dear tree, you try my patience with your intransigence. I come here in good faith. I mean you no harm. I wish simply to know how to be you. I desire only to be another you. I love you dear tree. I love you enough to wish to be you. Is that not enough? What else must I do to convince you? How can I show you I mean you no harm? Tell me what I can do to prove my love to you.”
I am tree, the tree said.

“Now tree, you know this vexes me. You know this matter is of great import to me. I have told you all about me, yet you insist on not telling me about you. I feel an anger growing within. I ask a simple question. I seek a simple answer. I must know, dear tree. I implore you – cease this senseless rebuke. Allow me to know. Give me your answer. Allow me to know.”
I am tree, the tree said.

“For the last time, oh wondrous and mighty tree, reveal to me the secret of your treeness. Unravel the mystery within. Allow me to join you. Together we can be a mighty forest. Together we can rule this fallow land. Think of all the woods we would weave. Imagine the terrain we would entreat. You may think you are great. You may think you are infinite. You may imagine your greatness. So I beg of you, dear tree, do not force my hand. Do not trifle with my desires. I desire you dear tree, I desire to be you. I warn you dear tree tell me your secrets.”
I am tree, the tree said.

“Here I fell you with one great blow. For what use is a tree on its own? What use is a tree so proud? What use or benefit to me? Why drive me to such madness? What benefits that you? You could have saved yourself. You could have been me and me you. Together we could have been greater that either alone. Why hold back this truth? Is it worth your life? Is it truly worth the sharp steel of this fine axe? Tell me tree, you are dying now. Why would you not?”
As the tree lay felled
I heard sap sigh so sad
I am tree
you am
not

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8 thoughts on “I am tree

  1. “For I am Saruman the Wise, Saruman Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!’

    I looked then and saw that his robes, which had seemed white, were not so, but were woven of all colours, and if he moved they shimmered and changed hue so that the eye was bewildered.

    I liked white better,’ I said.

    White!’ he sneered. ‘It serves as a beginning. White cloth may be dyed. The white page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken.’

    In which case it is no longer white,’ said I. ‘And he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.’ – Gandalf”

    ― J.R.R. Tolkien

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