©  by Erika Pirl 

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Between Empathy and Distance.

A day as a tree
Today I was trying to be a tree, well, I was like a tree as close as I could try to be or I should say I performed a tree
or I was treeing.
I stood planted in the ground until I could no longer stay just letting the wind dictate my movements I swayed slightly back and forth for an afternoon. When I started this was an open invitation to join,
some people joined me here and there
treeing with be for a few moments.


As a tree I thought it was nice when I was not alone and I could feel someone else swaying next to me but it was also nice to be alone.
The people around me started to forget I was there after a while,
every once in awhile someone would stop in front of me for a moment
looking a little perplexed watching my feet which had disappeared into the soil and then watching me.
Sometimes smiling, saying something about a childhood memory or being barefoot in the grass, sand or dirt but for the most part it was like I was not there at all.


If I closed my eyes and just observed through my other senses It was like being and not being in a place at the same time.
As a tree I could not choose what I saw or what I didn’t see, what I heard or didn’t hear. I became an unknown witness to the events around me.I also didn’t directly understand the main language around me but here and there I heard pockets of people saying “der Baum dort” or “sie ist ein Baum dort” “that tree over there” or “it’s a tree there”,
as there were no other trees closer than a few city blocks away in this sort of concrete urban rooftop I, suppose they meant me, I was that tree there. I don’t know what the rest of the conversation was but it was strangely nice to be not there and there too. By now I was very rooted we could say, into my place and it was no longer a question what I was, I just was. I couldn’t chose what people did what the trees farther away did what anything said or what the weather did,
when there was no wind I was tired but how I
loved it when there was breeze that would allow me to move slightly in her, when I was alone I was just enjoying my space and surroundings
but when someone stopped by and interacted with me I felt awake againthis is why it is good to talk to plants

I remember thinking. I managed to stay for a short period realizing actually treeing is not possible but to try is nice.


ninety minutes


seemed an eternity to my human capacity it was enough for me to forget I had feet and when I took my first step out of the earth I lost my balance very quickly trying to regain feeling in my toes. I wonder if tree time is different?
It must be I suppose. Then I wonder if for them a few days would be a life span of mine? When I might visit a place that I used to know, many years and many changes later, for the place, would it be
only the blink of an eye?


Will the earth that I stood in for an afternoon remember my footprint once it is placed somewhere and turned into the home of a garden? Will the plants that grow in my footprinted soil recognize me if I was to ever find them again?


Perhaps I am starting with the wrong question, what about me
recognizing them?
Would I ever find them any way?
Would I recognize my own footprint many years later?

 

 

 

 

 Performing or "Tree - ing"

 

 

 

 

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