Notes from a Tree/12

A bud in September (a budding September,

two-thousand and thirteen) –

delicate, yet sturdy

soft, green and furry

tempting

inquisitive

fingertips:

“Touch me.”

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The tree

– like the whole garden –

is a riot of vigorous green

like an orchestra

boisterous

clamouring

bursting towards my camera

willing me to capture it.

I try to.

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a riot of vigorous green

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boisterous, clamouring…

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bursting towards my camera

 

I am obsessed with this tree

obsessed with the shapes of its branches

which I photograph from every angle.

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the shapes of its branches

And the spaces in between its dancer’s gesturing arms

draw me

like Alice’s looking-glass.

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The spaces in between its arms

A Leopard in Love

On Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013, I had a busy time in the tree, watching people, taking photographs, making notes, having Deep Thoughts.

When I climbed down onto the lawn, I sat on the grass for a moment to lick my paws, turned around and – Oh!

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I turned around and – Oh!

I think I’m in love.

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I think I’m in love

Still AWOL

I had been asked not to use any pins, so on January 28th I dragged myself to Parsonage Gardens to tie my Missing poster to the magnolia tree.  It had taken me all day to get there from ten minutes’ walk away (sometimes the shortest journeys take the longest time), and dusk had fallen.

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The Missing poster at dusk (1)

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The Missing poster at dusk (2)

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The Missing poster at dusk (3)

I took some pictures on my phone of the buds against the darkening sky,

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The buds against the darkening sky (1)

… and a final cartoon shot, before leaving.

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The buds against the darkening sky (2)

Two days later I returned, to see what it looked like in daylight.

in daylight

What it looks like in daylight

buds, buds, glorious buds...

Buds, buds, glorious buds…

AWOL

I went down to Parsonage Gardens today to put up a new sign.  The Magnolia tree reminded me of our Christmas tree, once it had been stripped of all its decorations.  It looked kind of skinny, naked and shivery in the cold.  I wanted to throw a big jacket over its shoulders.  A very very large jacket.

I’ve never seen a jacket that large, actually.

Someone had taken down my previous sign.  Either that, or it had smudged, parted company with itself, perhaps even totally dissolved in the wind and the rain that has shaken and lashed this island in recent times.

I hadn’t been in touch since before Xmas, and wondered if I had been struck off the Old Parsonage’s agenda.

Moribund, I stepped closer to the tree, looking for a suitable site for my new offering – and was instantly cheered to see a determined cluster of snowdrops at its base.

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a determined cluster of snowdrops

Hope springs eternal, then.  Good.

As I gazed up at the tree’s higher reaches, its bony fingers reaching for the sky of bright, cold blue, I spotted the Mystery Shoe.  I haven’t written about that yet.  See if you can spot it.

the Mystery Shoe(i)

In case you can’t, here’s a clue…

Mystery Shoe

the Mystery Shoe (ii)

And here’s a close up.

the Mystery Shoe (detail)

the Mystery Shoe (detail)

More about that later.

I wanted to pin (ouch! -sorry) my new sign to the tree, because that’s what one does with Missing Pussycat signs.  But something told me I should seek permission first, so I did, and I haven’t been granted it yet, so watch this space, because I’m going back tomorrow.

And this is my Missing Pussycat sign.

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That should do it.

In Cahoots

On September 2nd I went to the Parsonage Gardens to take down the old sign, which had become a little rain-smudged…

the old sign

the old sign

..and to put up a new one

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the new sign

(With hindsight, I don’t know why I bothered.  The first one was clearly better, in a smudgy sort of way).

But on approaching the Magnolia Tree I stopped short.

The ground beneath its branches was covered in a soft pink cloud

a soft pink cloud

a soft pink cloud

Puzzled, I glanced up at the Magnolia tree as it stood there, humming a jaunty little tune and looking rather pleased with itself.

But then I cottoned on.

“Ha!” said I.  “Well done, Magnolia, you nearly had me there.  But you didn’t drop this lot.  This stuff comes from the Smoke Tree!”

The Magnolia said nothing; but ceased its humming and looked away – a little crestfallen, I thought.

I did think it was funny, though, how the wind had blown the pink cloud from the Smoke Tree, around the Acer in between and deposited it so convincingly here, beneath my beloved Magnolia.

It seems the wind and the trees are playful, in cahoots, trying to trick me.

Notes from a Tree/08

A different view

A different view

In August, I climbed higher than I had dared before

and earned myself a different view,

including one or two last

shy

magnolia

flowers

hiding

(out of my reach) – whose

siblings lay in petals

scattered on the ground.

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…petals scattered on the ground

Mid-month, the wind blew strongly

enough to make the boughs sway – and me with them.

It was a distinctly

unnerving

experience, and I clung on for

dear life (as did my new friends, the remaining magnolias).

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An unnerving experience

I  wondered what to do with the photographs I had started taking of the people who passed below.  Perhaps I would put them in a gallery called ‘Human Traffic’

– but what of the dogs and occasional wildlife I snapped?  Hmm.  

‘Non-Leopard Sightings’, or

‘Human Traffic (and Other Beasties)’

maybe.  

Divided into two categories:

‘Those Who Did’ and ‘Those Who Didn’t’ (notice me, that is).

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…notice me, that is.

Why is She Up There, Mummy? (part two)

So, the excitement and fear of the (will they/won’t they) proposal letter and its reception over and done with, I settled back into wondering what on earth I was actually doing.  “What’s it all about?” I wondered, not for the first time, in my notebook.  Why, when all the other artists had left (aka moved on), was I still here?

This is what I wrote:-

“It’s about

Belonging vs. Being Out of Place

Being Here v. Wanting to be Somewhere Else

Authenticity v. Disguise

Nature v. Civilisation

Childhood v. Adulthood

Freedom of Expression v. Repression

It’s also about lounging about and having fun!

These are all themes in my life.

It’s also about the frustration of discovering there are some things I really don’t like about myself – but try as I might, I can’t seem to change…”

And we all know what they say about leopards…

Smile for the camera, please!

Smile for the camera, please!

To conclude: there’s a certain amount of stuckness going on in my life (not to be confused with Stuckism, which is something entirely different), and so it seems apt that I should be ‘stuck’ up a tree for a year.

That’s why she’s up there, Mummy.