” I’d like to see that tree you wrote about sometime.”
My wife was talking to me about a tree that I’d written a blog post about a couple of days earlier.
I’d made a big deal out of this one misshapen tree that I’d noticed in the forest. I was sure I’d not only be able to find it again anytime I wanted to, but that someday it might even have some sort of marker or plaque commemorating what I had done…
“THE BLOG TREE”
That would have made all the sense in the world…that my words would someday spark a giant outpouring of nostalgia…”remember when he wrote about lego impotence? Those were the days, huh?” There would be plaques on most everything I had come in contact with or written about.
The reality of the situation was that when I went back to where I thought the tree was…I couldn’t find it. It was a memorable tree but in all the new green, it just didn’t stand out like the first day I saw it.
That tree…the oddest of trees…just blended in with the other trees. For the life of me, I couldn’t see it anymore.
We are the hub of our own universes.
Astronomers would be confused…”I thought we already settled that sun/earth issue….it’s the SUN that everything revolves around, remember?”
We are the center of it all…at least in some of our minds.
We are the tree that every other tree in the forest had the good or bad fortune to spring up around.
We can’t get over our selves. Even if we work at practicing humility…and discount our own importance in the big picture….we can’t escape being us.
We can’t escape it…but we can’t understand it, either. Try as we might, understanding ourselves is a tough nut to crack.
Not being able to find this one odd tree made me think about how people just don’t have the time to sustain an obsession with our differences or faults. They are so busy being the hubs that to give up too much attention to someone elses problems takes too much energy.
They may notice some quirky (or major…it could be something earth shakingly major) difference…but they can’t get over themselves long enough to give it a second thought again and again and again.
Probably one of the major reasons we have to pay attention to other people is that it takes some of the heat off of trying to figure out our own problems. We get to focus on something outside for a while ….and it feels good to leave the self obsession behind momentarily.
Not being able to find this WEIRDO TREE again was a big loss. I thought that I’d always have it to point to as an example of nature gone wrong…always be able to compare the GOOD, NORMAL TREES to it. It was bent and “growed back wrong”….why wouldn’t I remember it always? But, try as I may, I can’t see this tree anymore.
When someone else notices something about us that’s not flattering, in our minds it becomes a forever thing. We obsess over it…water and nurture it until it becomes just another tree in the forest that “growed up wrong”.
The people that made the comment have probably moved on…unless they’re so desperate to escape their own pitiful version of “ME” that they’ve set up a tent at the base of our trees so they can pick at us and forget themselves for a while.
They don’t have the interest in “outside things” to keep up the attack.
I’m glad I couldn’t find that tree again…it meant more hidden among the others than it ever meant standing out in the forest.