Friday, September 17, 2010


On a day when I found myself compelled to visit a famed oak tree, a couple of miles from school ("sprouted in the 1770s, over sixty inches in diameter, considered to be middle-aged")-  wondering about its power to symbolize a longer Now- I also found myself explicating the Taoist conception of death as reconfiguration (not termination) with Freddie the Leaf. Simple, profound. (That story Alexander Rose repeated about the 500-year replacement beam oak tree at New College in Oxford, I'm sorry to report, apparently is an "embroidery"-but still a good story.)
"What's a purpose?" Freddie had asked.
"A reason for being," Daniel had answered. "To make things more pleasant for others is a reason for being. To make shade for old people who come to escape the heat of their homes is a reason for being. To provide a cool place for children to come and play. To fan with our leaves the picnickers who come to eat on checkered tablecloths. These are all the reasons for being."
"Each of us is different. We have had different experiences. We have faced the sun differently. We have cast shade differently. Why should we not have different colors?" Daniel said matter-of-factly. Daniel told Freddie that this wonderful season was called Fall.
"Where will we go when we die?"
"No one knows for sure. That's the great mystery!"
"Will we return in the Spring?"
"We may not, but Life will." 
There are early glitches in this old video, but they're worth "tolerating." 

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