"Green Goddess" Masque

direct YouTube link: "Green Goddess" Masque
"Chthonic goddess of the greening earth. Wrinkled, like tree bark, painted, an exotic glade. Process, the recycling of Nature, life emerging from death. An organic art. The mask's fronds as if growing out of the forest floor in the Spring. Papier-mache, mulch: paper, or leaves. The face as landscape; the face carrying the landscape with it. Flower colours framing her face; the iridescence of insects, sheen of dragonfly. Feathery wings, plumed serpent, vestiges of living vines. A vision of a Nature spirit, Summer Solstice, a Midsummer Night's Dream. Shaman of the forest. Tutelary guide in the rainforest. Jungle of the imagination. Then the Surreality of the sky-blue mask on the greening gold fields of her face: I offer you a masked mask."

After the papier-mâché green goddess masque was finished, I wrote some of the thoughts I had while making it. That became the prose poem.

Last Spring I had wanted to make a dancing video with the mask and the prose poem, but it didn't happen until a few days ago. The footage is from a 4 min clip of the only usable footage from a shoot in High Park in Toronto with my daughter not actually on camera, but affecting things.

A blog post from 2009 with photos documenting the process of making the masque, along with the writing:

This video is part of my multi-media work, 'Green Fire':

The background birds and forest track is a mix I made mostly from


In a class once, where the professor had taken us through a very dense reading of a movie, someone asked, 'Did the director think of all that when they made the movie?' While we would like our work, poems, photographs, artwork, videos, to stand on their own, sometimes we also like to discuss some of the thoughts we had while composing them.

I would ask that you please not consider this personal essay as an explanation of the videopoem, though. The response and thoughts of the viewer can and should differ from my own - the artist is never responsible for the meaning of a work, only the viewer, reader, audience has that privilege.

A good poem, for me, is always a repository of a body of knowledge. A poem is a condensation of part of our history, be that political, social, personal, or intellectual. A poem carries a body of knowledge with it, and this knowledge can be unlocked by the reader/viewer who cares to delve into the background of the poem's images.

All I'm doing here is talking a little of my thought process while making the masque and composing the videopoem. Some of the knowledge I have gathered and woven into this piece. Your responses to the final product, the videopoem, will, of course, be different.

Here are some of my meandering notes:

My masque wears the landscape of the green goddess. I sought to create a figure representing the processes of life, death, recycling/rebirth in the performance - through the costume with its mask, the movement, and the prose poem. I hoped to achieve a videopoem that was ethereal, earthy, surreal and entertaining.

In the process of making the masque, planning a videopoem, sewing a costume, and the 30 hours of editing the footage into the video you see here, many thoughts crossed my mind. I'll briefly touch on a few themes: a resonance with the Green Man motif, Minerva's owl, a little on subjectivities or notions of the self, that this is also a Solstice celebration, and about my discomfort with producing 'creative movement/dance' videos at my age.

My "Green Goddess" masque reminds me of the Green Man: a drawing or sculpture "of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit." The Green Man is usually an architectural ornament on churches, buildings or gates in parks, and so on. The article in Wikipedia continues, "The Green Man motif has many variations. Found in many cultures around the world, the Green Man is often related to natural vegetative deities....Primarily it is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, or "renaissance," representing the cycle of growth each spring." The 'Green Goddess' masque has leaf-like fronds in her headdress and the colours of the wilds on her painted face. My prose poem refers to many of the same vegetative processes of nature. The dance is meant to be of a nature spirit. She is like a counterpoint to the Green Man. They are fertility figures, emblems of the fecundity of Nature.

I included the sound of an owl hooting; though the video was shot in daytime, I created darker clips in the editing to create a motion of light and dark throughout the video. Always in the jungle there is danger (I lived in an African jungle in Zambia as a child so know this), and the owl carries that haunting in its birdcall. The owl is also sacred to the Ancient Roman goddess, Minerva: "She was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the inventor of music. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl, which symbolizes her ties to wisdom." All of which is appropriate to this videopoem.

Being a 21st century woman, concepts of subjectivities, construction of the self, the ego, in the midst of the natural abundances of the earth, the way as individuals we are part of the larger processes of life and death is important. Hence the masque. Who are we?

During the days it took to make the papier-mâché mask, I thought about how our masks enable us to be who we are. Our performative aspects reveal us to ourselves and others. We construct ourselves through our masques, and reveal ourselves more fully to each other when we are disguised. Yes, I know it is a bit of a double take, and the opposite approach to the Buddhistic peeling of layers of the self to arrive at essence. Yet, like the Buddhist practitioner sits in the semi-lotus pose of the Buddha meditating, and thus takes on the pose (or mask) of the Buddha to achieve selflessness, the masque also removes individual personality and reveals the archetypal nature of our essence.

Masqued or un-masqued, wearing a mask to represent the deity, to represent the spirit being called, or peeling away layers, perhaps we arrive at the same realization of 'selfless self.'

A forest doppelgänger appeared in the footage, in the imprint of a large woman of leaves, a reflection of the dancer, and I have no idea how that happened, and was not able to produce it in other sections, but I really grokked it. That vegetative figure has resonances with resurrection motifs, perhaps even the horror genre of movies when plants take on human form and come to life. A bit humorous, yes. Yet it is as if the masqued shamanic dancing called the spirit forth. A large figure emerges like a forest angel, the manifested double of the woman dancing a medicine dance, a potent force of the power of nature, a little dangerous if not directed properly by the shaman to become the energy of a spirit of healing. The appearance of a doppelgänger has made me very happy with this little video.

It is nearly Solstice, and a celebration of the sun at its zenith in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere here in Canada. I edited the video to culminate in a moment of solar worship, an adoration of the light of life, perhaps the figure becomes a solar priestess for a moment (for she has long since stopped being me), along with the overall representations of the fertility, decay and recycling of greening Nature.

The video is delicately layered and looks best on HD. Different parts of it play in differing speeds of slow motion. The video itself is composed like a compressed poem of images, and is one of my best video poems, I feel. It is, of course, not without humour.

If I'd had this technology 20 years ago! It is hard to produce 'dance videos' at my age, especially in a culture that focuses on youthful beauty, and while there are two more planned (since musicians have sent me music for specific performance pieces), I may not be able to do these types of "creative movement/dance" videos much longer. If I get those last two done, this year will have seen 5 dance videos, wow. A long-time dream, to do this, to create poetry dance videos.

The woman in the "Green Goddess" masque, therefore, wishes you the courage to realize your dreams.

Joining July's Festival of the Trees with this video poem on the shaman of the forest.

Little update: I also took this video poem with me last Sunday, along with some photos of the making of the masque, to a Digital Storytelling workshop (I can't find a direct link, but it's at NFB Mediatheque) with my independent film group at NFB (National Film Board), and was surprised at the positive comments from other participants and NFB staff that I received. Unfortunately, the computer I was working on there froze, so I don't have the piece I produced to show you - though I will link to the video slideshows produced by our group when they become available.
Comments (4)

Festival of the Trees - 60

Not that we are trying to project our consciousness everywhere, but there is an affinity. Trees speak to us. You might call this the genii loci, or indwelling spirit, or devi, or just the hum of the bark. Roots dig deep and branches reach like arms to the sun. Trees are natural worshippers. Look at them, brazen ringed wood and leaves breathing the planet clean.

There is no wedding like a tree in flower. Bouquets were born from the wishes of trees.

This month I had asked us to record an engagement with a tree or trees, preferably in video, but any form. To talk to the trees and bring back what transpired. This communing I knew would reflect us back to ourselves as we projected our way of seeing things onto the arborescent consciousness, and so that self-consciousness was part of it, seeing how we shape what we see. I also knew that what I was asking was a type of vision quest. For you to seek out the tree of your dream consciousness, the tree that is singing to you, or to tell us about a vision that involved communion with a tree. All this assumes a deep connection to trees, to an ancient archetypal forest wisdom that we are likely born with.

Bob, from Thunder Valley Drums writes: I just stumbled across your wonderful project and was particularly drawn to the "sound" portion of your call for entries. I make drums from lightning-struck trees, and in my tradition, this allows a tree to live again. Here is a link to a video I just put up a few days ago about it. Making a Lightning-Struck Drum.

The video is dramatically edited with an opening clip of lightning and a falling tree, and potent, the storm, the cutting of the fire struck tree, the drummer drumming the drum drumming thunder...

I so enjoyed your idea of creating a piece about our relationship with trees .... Stirling Davenport, whose blog is Dreaming Out Loud, writes, I actually made a few videos today on my walk. But this one was my favorite .... 

The simple clarity of this video is disarming. The structure of the video is almost like a poem itself. First, we are shown a view of the tree, this tree might be very old, Stirling surmises; then she stands with her back against the tree, feels its sap, as Native Americans suggest, you can feel its life, and go high in the branches to its treetop, and you can see from the tree's point of view; and then the poet, the woman, rests against the tree, who nests her, as she holds the camera towards herself for us to see the feelings passing across her face, and says, this tree has been here a long time ... before there were houses, and, as she listens, that the rain is coming. There is a sense of the extraordinary in the ordinary in this video, and an intimacy that we don't often see.

Jason Crane, of Poetry, Politics and Jazz. But mostly poetry, sent a link to a series of photographs he is compiling called, Buddha in the Modern World, and do take a look at them - they, too, are disarmingly wonderful. Here is an appropriate image for this month's Festival of the Trees, the Buddha in Central Park in New York City.

Dave Bonta, one of the founders of The Festival of Trees, sent a link to an animated video he had found describing the process of the strangler fig, and in an email thread said: Fun fact I learned at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew [in England]: the bo tree, under which the Buddha is said to have attained enlightment, is a species of strangler fig.
While I don't think quite the Bodhisattva bo tree, we can see how strangler figs can overtake forests in CreatureCast - Strangler Fig, narrated by Matt Ogburn, with artwork and editing by Sophia Tintori, and an original score by Amil Byleckie. Casey Dunn writes: the strangler fig first avoids having to sprout in the dark understory of the rainforest by growing in the tops of the trees closer to the sun, and then avoids getting too dehydrated up there by dropping roots to the forest floor. Finally it grows back up to the top of the tree, surrounding and strangling the host tree on the way, taking advantage of the tree's structural integrity to support its own hollow body.

Dick Jones, of The Patteran Pages, sent a perfect poem about a nature deity, a figure from whose face leaves sprout, including vines from the nostrils, mouth, vegetation that is often in flower. The Green Man, a sculptural or relief figure that adorns gates or buildings.



Trees are so certain, implacable,
even when fallen, each one
a manifesto proposing stillness

around a slow heart. Philosophers
out of the earth, they breathe
into the secret sky.

Where they reach with ease
and grace and find, I reach
to the sinew’s length then dream.

To be straight and unencumbered,
carrying the shifting cargo high,
neither offering nor withholding;

to lodge song and let it go;
to save in green and spend in gold;
to dance a frieze against the skyline;

to observe impassive like Hydra
from a thousand faces, each one
bearded, lidded, rimmed in leaves.

Suzi Smith, who blogs at Spirit Whispers, has composed her first video slideshow with a series of very beautiful photographs, among them pale green seed wings, and a voiceover that, as she wrote in an email, I winged it with the words. Goddess-Particle is the first recording of my voice since i was a kid, on the first slideshow i've made... and open to the public... with no edits, mainly cos i haven't worked out how yet!, and, while her voice is a little muffled, there is a sense of awakening, of speaking after a long time of silence. The whole video poem reminded me of first love.

Turning again to an ordinary videotaping of an extraordinary tree, the visceral sense of tree bark, climbing a gnarled live oak, close up, so real I can feel it under my fingers, smell the earth and wood. Rebecca, of Rebecca in the Woods takes us up the tree as if we were insects in three short videos (well under a minute), accompanied by a Carolina Wren. She writes: spiders, skinks, treefrogs… little things that can’t step back and admire the whole tree but experience its labyrinthine branches close up. Really close up. How about if I took some video clips of how a spider or skink sees things?

Speaking of oaks, and following the insect theme, here is a recipe for 'Spring Oak Leaf Wine,' where, we are told, by Jasmine, of Nature Whispers, to Wash the leaves in cold water removing all woody stalks, damaged leaves, caterpillars and other hedgerow stow aways (I found several green caterpillars and a black and red caterpillar of the White Ermine Moth).

The wine looks quite magical, and I'd love to try it midsummer night's eve, or Solstice eve, for I'm sure it would offer special arborescent visions.

Tree-Pot Teapots: David D. Gilbaugh writes that he listens to the sounds of the earth. Wind, breezes blowing grass and leaves, falling rock, water falls, thunder and lightning, falling rain; any sound the earth makes that I can hear. They are authentic sounds that can be felt kinesthetically and experienced as they take place in my presence in real time. These are my favorite sounds, the sounds of earth and life expressing itself. And that the act of creating a work of art... always involves relationship to something or between at least two things. At least one of those things always me. His sculptures are knotted, whorled pieces that, even if sculpted out of different materials, like paperclay, carry the imprint and energy of wisened trees, Gandalf trees, grandfather trees. Whether he's made a teapot (let me tell you, these are the receptacles for that oak wine on Solstice), or a lamp or a surreal imaginist sculpture, the magic of trees is everywhere. Because his images at Flickr are copyrighted, I can't copy an image of one of his pieces to show you, but do click on this link and delight yourself with rich imaginings as you view these unique pieces.

A.Decker, of A.Decker Art, writes: of Vision Trees, which immediately brought this gnarled old catalpa, still standing in Mom's front yard, to mind. I was Tarzan in this tree; I was an ape in this tree; a dinosaur; a dinosaur hunter. Sometimes I just climbed up as high as I could, just to be away... Yup, I spent a lot of my childhood, forming my imagination up in those limbs and leaves, so if I have a "Vision Tree" that has to be it.

What memories this wonderful drawing of the old catalpa has.

Another tree that evokes powerful childhood memories is the mango tree Beej writes of in his blog, The Green Ogre. Beej has titled his submission to FOTT, Assassins in the Garden: For 20 years the mango tree that my father planted had stood its ground. It took less than 20 hours to bring it down. And all of us were complicit assassins. Like his father, I, too, am an excessive mango lover -my memories rising from eating mangos off trees as a child in Africa. A sweet mango is heaven itself. The story Beej tells in a photo-essay is a painful one. The mango tree, from stunted beginnings, grew to give copious fruit, but a tree plunges roots, seeking out water veins. A crack in the wall of the sump demonstrated that our tree was rather thirsty. Roots were also wedged in the foundation of the house, threatening its durability. After years of painful procrastination, my father made a decision: The tree would have to go.

The photographs chart the death of the beloved mango tree, and the essay covers its breadth through the years to the last, sad day. Because they are copyrighted, I can't include an image here, but do go and read and look and ponder on the relationships we have with our trees.

Gregory Vincent St Thomasino, of E-ratio, sends a very sad link, a photo he en-scripted, The Anti-Christ is not a person, the Anti-Christ is an action.  He says, click on the sentence and it'll take you to the story. If you click on the photo you'll see the aftermath (but beware, it's upsetting). A tree that has been the focus of collective vision for two millennia.

A Holy Tree has been cast down by vandals,  the NPR article continues: Last week, vandals sawed the limbs off the Glastonbury Holy Thorn Tree, reducing it to a stump. The tree is thought by some to have ties to the earliest days of Christianity, and each year local children cut sprigs from it to garnish the Queen's Christmas dining table.

Legend has it that the thorn tree sprouted from the staff of St. Joseph of Arimathea after he arrived in England from the Middle East 2,000 years ago. Experts says this type of thorn tree usually lives for just 100 years, but Glastonbury residents have kept the line going by periodically taking clippings to plant new trees.

All is not lost, according to Tony Kirkham of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. He says of the tree: It will obviously be deformed but it will put grafts out next spring. The Holy Thorn Tree could recover in about 10 years.

The demise of trees, for whatever reason, is always a sad affair. And, yet, don't we all get cut down at some point in our lives, and then after we grieve, a small recovery begins, like little shoots...

Let's turn to an animated video of a tree who inspires us to be joyful. Michaela, of Ove Pictures, writes, we have recently made a small animated music video with the trees and we hope that it will be suitable also for your Festival of the Trees. Free To Be Me is simply delightful - happy, easy, inspiring, and the animation is superb...

Diego Stocco, 'a sound designer and composer,' who 'loves to create new sound experiences in unusual ways,' on Vimeo, writes, of his unique tree music, Music From A Bonsai: I always liked bonsai trees, and I was curious to try the approach I used for "Music from a Tree" on a smaller scale, so I bought a bonsai and recorded this little experimental piece.

To determine the key I used the lowest note I could play and recorded the rest around it.
Besides playing the leaves, I used bows of different sizes, a piano hammer and a paint brush.
As far as microphones I used my Røde NT6, a customized stethoscope and tiny MEAS piezo transducers.

I played all the sounds and rhythms only with the bonsai, I didn't use any synthesizer or samplers to create or modify the sounds. I hope you'll like it.

Hugh, of Rock Paper Lizard, takes us on a tour of the arboretum known as "The Crescent" in the heart of Vancouver, on the West Side, a bulls-eye among the old-money mansions of Shaughnessy,. The Crescent is a circular roadway, or a circle, in the centre of which is planted with many old and unusual trees

Silvia Hoefnagels, of Windy Willow, takes us through a musing on which trees to talk to as our theme this month is arboreal conversations. Her post is called, 'Tree Confabulation.' She writes, The first tree that came to mind was my willow, as it is always in motion, with that lovely gentle rustle of leaves. I love to stand inside its flowing branches and look out into the world beyond. There is a peacefulness in its embrace. Silvia also considers beeches, sunburst honey locusts, but decides to go out and chat with my willow this morning, but when I got outside, I had a different kind of confabulation. ;)

I simply love the wordless dance of this video, the bodily teaching of the willow, and its correlation to how to bend and sway in our emotions, in our openness to our lives. Something comforting, like a lullabye, about willows, at least when you talk to them (as I did) or are inspired to a poetry of motion, as Silvia is, and she lets her camera record this moment of communing....

Ingrid Nelson's photographs of trees in water are beautiful: 'Pavement Trees': Last summer I started shooting concrete and parking lots and dividing lines, fading paint and patterns. Alongside my compulsive inclination to take a photo of every tree branch I see, this contrast to the natural world was a break from the norm. With all the rain this winter, my eye was drawn into the glistening cement and of course...puddles. I am fascinated how my two worlds seem to magically intersect and become one dimensional galaxies both in reflection and in print. It's almost like tree trapping ... yet transient as we know that summer is just around the corner and these accidental worlds will exist no more.

Kathryn Esplin, who blogs on Gather, writes: Here is a pdf link not written by me, but about some famous trees in our area, that were ancient - between 400 and 900 years old, the famous Waverly Oaks, 23 white oaks that grew here until they were finally destroyed by ice and storms prior to 1920. Few huge and ancient tree stands existed in the US even in the 19th C. The giant sequoia trees are 2,000 years old and during the Mesozoic era circa 250 million years ago to 65 milion years ago, mega Flora like the Giant Sequoia redwoods of N. California were populous over the earth; today, these redwoods are upwards of 375 feet high.

And from Nora, a link called 'Make a Forest': ‘Make A Forest’ aims to raise awareness on environmentally sustainable forest management by creating a link between nature and culture. Imagine a cultural forest as diverse as a real forest, what will it look like? Cultural organizations and educational institutions around the world are invited alongside local artists, architects and designers to help create this virtual forest. It will take shape in 2011, the year declared by the United Nations as the Year of Forests. The platform will become the meeting place of all activities. Looks exciting!

And, lastly, my offering, 'Vision Trees.' For this Festival I thought to do a painting of some trees of significance to me and to make a video of the process, so hooked up my camera and set to work. The footage is sped up 1200% to create a time-lapse painting video. Afterwards I added voice: The voiceover relates a tree story. The magnetism of certain trees. A story of my vision trees. About finding home through those trees. The voiceover is perhaps a bit loose - I begin by reading a piece and then just start talking - but I wanted something colloquial, expressing the extraordinary in the ordinary, a vision in a rambly monologue. It's a real story. I hope the way I've layered it into the video works for you.

This painting is my first landscape, maybe ever. I'm a figurative artist normally. But these trees are special.

Vision Trees, 2011, 74cm x 56cm, 29" x 22", India and permanent acrylic inks, oil paints, 300lb Arches watercolour paper.

'One of the most beautiful pieces of art on earth is the bird's nest. Your video reminded me of a bird building her nest,' a Pastor who blogs wrote. I hadn't seen that. The sped-up video, ink, pen, paint, fingers, constructing the nest, the voiceover story, a nesting story - yes, I see it.

Nesting in our trees, perhaps we all nest in our trees.

Inspired by Dick Jones' The Green Man, a hint of what's to come next month, so start working on your submissions.

The next edition of the Festival of the Trees will be hosted at Via Negativa, and you can send submissions to Dave Bonta at (bontasaurus) at (yahoo [dot] com). The theme is open -- but since it's the 5th anniversary, Dave is especially interested in new discoveries about trees and forests, both scientific discoveries and those of a more personal kind.

from Macbeth (written around 1604-1608) by William Shakespeare, Act 5, Scene 5, pg 2:


           Thou comest to use
Thy tongue; thy story quickly.

           Gracious my lord,
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do ’t.

           Well, say, sir.

           As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I looked toward Birnam, and anon methought
The wood began to move.

           Liar and slave!

           Let me endure your wrath, if ’t be not so.
Within this three mile may you see it coming;
I say, a moving grove.
Comments (11)

Vision Trees

Call for Submissions: Festival of the Trees 60

On my walk this afternoon, a tree, whose energy is perhaps conveyed by this image, with whom I feel a strong magnetic pull each time I pass. This tree played a part in my coming to live on the street you see here, I am sure. I'll relate the story in my post for the Festival.
Do you have a vision tree?

Is there a tree, a tree who calls to you? Whose rhythms speak to you deeply. Whose energy resonates with yours. Is there a tree who has inspired you in your life, your spirituality, art, relationships, body? Remember this tree, the vision of this tree, whenever it was, or go there now, rest against the bark, listen.

Can you record this feeling, conversation, vision in writing, art, photography, video? Please share your vision here, at the Festival of the Trees.

If you're inspired, write, paint, compose, perform your communion with a tree or trees, post in your blog, or Picasa or Flikr , or YouTube or Vimeo, or SoundCloud or Jamendo, wherever you hang your on-line hat, and send me the link, and I'll include it in the round-up on Festival Day! I'm hosting the next Festival of the Trees at my blog, Rubies in Crystal, on June 1st. Any and all entries welcome!

Host: Rubies in Crystal - here!

Deadline: May 29, for a Festival of the Trees post on June 1st.

Email to: brenda.clews [at] gmail [dot]com — or use the contact form on Festival of the Trees Submit page

*Important! Put “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line of your email

Theme: Trees in sound and motion: arboreal conversations

All tree-related submissions are considered, so as you wander the web this month, keep the Festival in mind and send us links to any tasty trees you find! Submission deadline is Sunday May 29th.

Festival of the Trees (home site)
Comments (7)

'Festival of the Trees' Submission Deadline this Sunday, May 29th

The deadline for the Festival of the Trees 60 is Sunday, May 29th.

Send your tree-related submissions to me (brenda [dot] clews [at] gmail [dot] com) for inclusion in the Festival held at Rubies in Crystal  on June 1st!

Talk to the trees! Send me links to your recordings of your arboreal conversations. While I'd love video, all  poems, stories, photos, are most welcome. Read the call for submissions for details and inspiration.

Remember: you can send more than just your own links.

We invite you to share your May tree discoveries too.

Call for Submissions: Festival of the Trees 60

Talk to the Trees!

If you're inspired, write, paint, compose, perform your communion with a tree or trees, post in your blog, or Picasa or Flikr , or YouTube or Vimeo, or SoundCloud or Jamendo, wherever you hang your on-line hat, and send me the link, and I'll include it in the round-up on Festival Day! I'm hosting the next Festival of the Trees at my blog, Rubies in Crystal, on June 1st. Any and all entries welcome!

Call for Submissions: Festival of the Trees 60

Host: Rubies in Crystal - here!

Deadline: May 29

Email to: brenda.clews [at] gmail [dot]com — or use the contact form on Festival of the Trees Submit page

*Important! Put “Festival of the Trees” in the subject line of your email

Theme: Trees in sound and motion: arboreal conversations

The Festival of the Trees 60th edition is all about expanding your arboreal horizons. This month the Festival is hosted here, at Rubies in Crystal. Share a conversation with trees. We are asked to observe our own engagement with trees, and record it—with video, audio, slideshow, or any other creative composition we can dream up.

Consider this your Director’s License, complete with the big high chair (wooden, of course). When you create your tree submissions, be conscious of the role of the spectator. Each viewer will have a different experience from your own experience with the trees. Share something which invites your audience to take a seat, listen, and reflect on the different ways that humans perceive trees – or become more aware of their own regard for trees and forests.

Here’s a little multimedia arboreal inspiration to kick things off:

cherry blossom haiku (who else is listening with you at dawn?)

The Beauty of Denmark, Botanical Ecosystem (does the camera follow your eye, or does your eye follow the camera?)

Ecology: Forest Canopy Freestyle Rap (what’s more to explore than the eyes can see?)

Tree Bird Moon Ghost (what do you hear in the forest? how would you translate it?)

All tree-related submissions are considered, so as you wander the web this month, keep the Festival in mind and send us links to any tasty trees you find! Submission deadline is Sunday May 29th.

Festival of the Trees (home site)

Early Snowfall

Snow drifts from the sky whitely combing
the red and golden yellow leaves;
when it melts,
bare limbs climb into the sky.
I want to lie on those whorls of wood,
like mastheads of stately Nordic goddesses
or my tender frozen ancestral grandmothers,
dreaming of Daphne, firey gowns
stripped by solar winds to stark
nude greys of Winter.
Thick ridges of weather
carved rivulets
in the bark.

Visit Riverside Rambles for the 18th edition of the Festival of the Trees, where this little poem is included among many great entries.
Comments (4)
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