My Love Affair With Trees

Trees have always been a sort of metaphor for my life. Surrounded by their essence, I am happiest and feel supported, as if among old friends. The stories they keep captivate and intrigue me, like a segment of history they secretly hold. I admire and look up to them, I breathe and hug them. The tree rings recite a beautiful tale of a long life lived reaching for the light, swaying in the wind, unseen long tendril roots anchoring below, seeking nutrients in all the dark and secret places.
How they know to do this? 
Nature is so intelligent, I am awed!

While working on MEMOIRS AND OTHER RELICS OF INTO THE WOODS, my newest collection of paintings, my process entailed a literal thrust of my being to press on the tree's core unto my substrate, weighing with my hands or elbows and rubbing harshly on the back of my surface feeling the ridges while applying pressure until the ink bled through. I admire the unique markings created by the core section; outlines of the rings like the loosely written words of a long-lost lover's letter. 

Afterwards counting each circular band to reveal 
124 years of layering.

All the while... imagining the events that took place in the life and existence of this magnificent being, the exercise was projected onto my own existence....all I've seen and observed, how so have I flourished, how much I bended, and where did I break sometimes,
and how,
in the end did my rings grow round me,
or were awkwardly dented in places,
and why? 

In all honesty, the tree may be similar to my life in a sense, (metaphorically speaking) yet its outwardly opposite in others.
And maybe that explains the attraction.

You see, when I was too young, I uprooted myself from the ground where I grew. Attracted to a nomad life, I ventured to explore far and magical places of the world and my soul, intrigued by beauty and in search of truth.
With my heart as my compass, misguided sometimes, but always well-meaning, I carved out my path.
Long and winding, treacherous, and beautiful ... just an experience.

Inside the core, it's all the same, I think.
Indeed, whether we are nomad or sedentary, here or there,
Flora, Fauna, or Human,
we are all after the same sun and its light,
the same fight to survive and after the same sense of fulfillment of belonging... no matter what we do, who we are, where we live,
we... this nature that we are part of... are essentially all the same.
Since the beginning, until the end. Like old friends swaying in the wind, reaching for the light.
This, I believe.