How Tree Told Me His Story


The Story of Tree will be available on Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing by early next week.  I know some authors look down their noses at e-publishing but I don’t 🙂  Besides, I don’t consider myself “an author”.  I think of myself more as a story teller.  Tree told me his story and it has been my responsibility to be sure the story wasn’t lost but continues to be told even after I’m long gone 🙂

Forward to The Story of Tree

One late afternoon, many years ago, while I was still living in New York City, I was in my apartment and was startled by a sudden cacophony of sirens.  I went to my window and saw a situation emerging which was eerie and unexpected.

A man was sitting on the edge of the roof of the building kitty corner from me, his feet dangling off the edge, his tie blowing in the wind.  It became apparent that he intended to jump off the roof.

The emergency crew set up the standard rubber bed and there were all sorts of emergency vehicles at the ready!  Then I saw that there was a large, old tree in the line of the jumper’s trajectory.  The emergency crews had pulled out their chainsaws.

At this point, I couldn’t watch anymore and joined some friends for an early dinner.  The circus occurring on Amsterdam Avenue as onlookers fetched cameras and crowds expanded was distressing.

As I later walked home from dinner, Amsterdam Avenue was still closed and the giant, old tree lay whole and huge in the middle of the street.  I went over to the tree.  It smelled wonderful.  I considered how this tree had had to be cut down because of the man threatening to jump.  I asked a remaining, nearby emergency worker what had finally transpired. He informed me that the suicidal man had been walked down and lived.

I went over to the fallen tree, put my hand on its trunk and stayed very still.  Then I took a twig from its branches.

The next morning, the tree was being sawed to pieces and placed for garbage pickup on the sidewalk.

It was then that something extraordinary occurred.  I felt compelled to sit at my desk and began painting and writing.  The Story of Tree came to me in one fluent river of words and images.  I didn’t have to “create” anything.  I didn’t have to manufacture…or even think. I just stayed an open vessel for this story.

To this day, I believe, that because I put my hand on its trunk and was quiet, the tree was able to impart to me the story of its life.  It then became my responsibility to become the historian and to find any way possible to share this remarkable story.

Dear Reader, here you now have it, as told to me by Tree.  It is The Story of Tree.

Years later, I still have the twig  I took from him that evening…

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