HJA Residency Day 8

Split Tree

Split Tree

There is a tree in the forest that is straddling a very slow landslide. Every year the land slides a few more inches and the tree splits a little bit more. One day the tree will rip in two.

I have been thinking of that tree since I saw it the first day I arrived. Every day that passed, the tree became more prominent in my thoughts. At the top, the tree is still one. At the bottom, I can comfortably sit inside it, the tear reaching high above me.

Tim’s close friend Matt died at the age of 30 last Sunday. Ever since Tim went to the hospital to visit him Saturday, I’ve felt like that tree. Part of me is grounded here, being in this place, fully being an artist. The other part was being pulled by a force and desire I could not control towards Tim and his grief. I wanted to repair his tear although there was no way I could.

I have stayed here as long as I could, but now I have to leave, earlier than planned and sooner than expected. Some landslides are just too big to be contained and taking care of people typically is the best way to go. But knowing when to go wasn’t as easy as I would have hoped it would be. Is splitting down the middle ever easy?

Today I searched that tree out. It didn’t feel right to leave without paying tribute to it since it has been in my thoughts for over a week. After looking at it from every angle I could and touching it, I crawled inside at sat underneath the tear with my eyes closed. It didn’t happen immediately, but slowly everything came together. Being in the middle of a tear was peaceful, even if just for a brief period of time.

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