Well, I did it! I wrote every day from early October to New Year's Day 2010. Now I will write for fun when I feel like it and see where that gets me. Cheers to all my small-blessing-appreciating friends!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tree Bark, for Catherine

When I was a little child, I liked to go along touching every tree I passed - an original tree hugger. This must have been tedious for the adult who accompanied me. I also picked up acorns and brought them home. I have a strong memory of my mother's reaction when she discovered that my stash of acorns had produced an army of tiny white caterpillars!

The skin of trees comes in so many colors and textures. Some are smooth like the red satin of the Tibetan cherry tree or the pale grey bark of beech trees, that looks like skin over smooth muscles.

Rough bark has character. I have tried to paint fir bark. The problem with fir bark is that every patch I looked at was different and had a microcosm of detail: lichen and moss, dryness and dampness, light and dark, greens, browns, and greys. This complexity makes rough bark fascinating. Indeed, complexity makes nature fascinating.

In painting a tree, one must make generalizations about it. Indeed, we do this in most encounters with the natural world. We walk in a cloud of abstraction that masks the mind-boggling wonder of it all. See, my blog has once again blundered into a vast, huge blessing.

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