Monday, August 17, 2009
Brace yourself for this little profundity:
Sometimes a tree is just a tree. Sometimes, it's a reminder that what we're looking at is a universal nudge.
No seriously, brace yourself. I'm about to speak in metaphors. Take this tree, for instance. I think it's a redbud. It lives at the edge of this pretty little pond in the Botanical Gardens in Fort Worth, Texas. And on this day, when I snapped this shot, I was simply looking at how pretty it was with its reflection in the water.
Today, something entirely different occurred to me as I looked at it. You see how the reflection in the pond isn't the exact opposite of the tree? In fact, it's the underside of the tree reflected in the water, not the tree we are seeing from a distance. But still, we look at it squarely and think, yeah, that's the tree, reflected in the water.
Today, as I looked at this picture, it made me ponder the distortion that frequently enters into that small, internal conversation I often have with myself about...well, me. About my failures, my shortcomings, and my dark, veiny underleaf. That is to say: When you look at me, you just see the tree. I see something completely different.
My vision of me is coming up through the water. Shot through with uninvited shadows rippling the image. Maybe that explains my habitual, none-too-generous assessment of myself and my accomplishments, and underscores all those things I know I should be grateful for:
8.Being a writer.
10.Trees, reflected in water.
Sometimes, my history floats just under the surface, distorting my idea of myself. And the reflection? It's not necessarily all that accurate. Maybe that's where the old, "Keep your head up," saying comes from. As in, "Don't look down there and scare yourself. Here is where the real tree is."
Okay, I warned you about the metaphors. Don't say I didn't.