For days I've been looking at an image of the invisible forest in my thoughts, in the form of a painting for "You'll Always Come Back". I'm intending to show the landscape of Dutton Hill as it was when it was covered by a forest of old growth trees. There are still remnants of that forest, but precious little. It was quite a surprise to find that my friend and collaborator Kim has been imagining that forest too! She says that she's still working on this poem, but here's her note and the initial version:
(When I was working with Dan on his last project he told me the story of a great oak forest that once stretched from hwy. 39 to 1247 (along the Campground Road route). Of course this fascinated me – being enthralled by all things ancient or enchanted and a lover of forests (having spent my youth tromping through them). So now as I travel Campground road from my childhood home to my grown-up (ha! debatable) home, I pass through this invisible forest. I was inspired on my way home last night to write a poem about it. This isn't complete yet, but I'm posting it anyway as a work in progress:)
The Invisible Forest:
I journey home in a soft daze of chatter, winding
through invisible forests. Ghost trees hover silent,
majestic over great rolling waves of palest green.
Their home now occupied by bovine herds, babies
wiggle-kicking, suckling mothers, indifferent.
or do they know?
Gentle spirits of giant trees tower over
footprints left as memories beneath manure.
I feel their presence. Their sadness.
Their strong bodies chopped, mangled, sawed,
dispersed and lost. Forgotten to most,
but not to some.
I imagine a space, expansive green shadow bright,
a ceiling held impossibly high by great oak pillars.
Explosive heavy silence presses upon my ears,
giving audience to the birds. I see leaves applaud
birdsongs while unseen animals whoop and call for
encore. encore. just one more.
It's an odd coincidence that I've been having conversations of late with a poet and musician who thinks about trees a lot.
Maybe I should rephrase that to observe the axiom that I gave to him - coincidence happens; significance is made. Together we looked through one of my sketchbooks with images of trees. He was drawn to these: