Which tree is me?
There are faces hiding lower down in this one. It is fractured and changed for ever with sides that no longer match. Sap, the lifeblood of the tree has wept into the fracture-line.
Comfort. The empty arms of a mother. There’s a place to rest enfolded by roots that might be mine? I have to find my own roots in the trees, wherever they are exposed.
The wound of separation still weeps.
And I know the hollowness of separation and the aloneness of remaining where felled.
And the search goes on. Fantasy has me asking if this is my soft uncomplicated mother reclining at leisure, smoothly adjusted to life without her child?
Reality says mothers feel like this one with arms that don’t enfold and blunted breasts that don’t feed? An adoptive mother unresolved in her own grief of childlessness; a birth mother damaged by the brutality of a world that took her child.
All trees bear the scars of life, even when they die. Some branches grow strong, and others are constricted, forked and gnarled.
Somehow we contain the hard knocks and go on. Predators predate and wounds deform.
Life is derived from roots in earth and branches in the sky, sun that shines and rain that falls, and a little bit of the magic of transformation.
There is no one tree for an adoptee. Just possibility. In imagination.
Dear Sofie, I can’t tell you how moved I was by your post. By your words, by the photos, and by the fact that you have echoed my own obsession with gnarled trees (I painted them as metaphors for my adoption experience even before I found out I was adopted late in life – you can see some of them on my website). I am obsessed with the gnarly, vaginal, breasted images of trees. And here you are, posting the perfect post to enlighten the world. Thank you so much. How wondrous you are and how achingly and poignantly you have expressed the deep and abiding pain and longing that haunts us, how we constantly look and imagine our mothers…in nature, in others, in our souls…so that the whole universe becomes a possible maternal embrace (whether that causes pain and constant longing)…the very kindest regards to you…thank you once again for a stunning post.
Dear Kim, Thank you for your comments. I have compulsively photographed trees ever since I got a digital camera a few years ago. Yesterday I was going to a meeting to discuss some ideas for a memorial to people affected by forced adoptions. I quickly produced that blog so I could show others the photos without having to take my computer. I tidied it up this morning. I surprise myself sometimes because I never thought of myself having any artistic talent. But the healing journey through adoption issues has created a whole new me. I certainly knew what I was thinking when I took the photographs – the content was not a surprise; I love the metaphors, ambiguities and sexuality. It just amazes me when I put something together and let it be public. It is the challenge of breaking the silence.
I have looked at your site. It is beautiful and professionally done. Your photos and artwork are amazing. I was especially pleased to see you wrote about Charlotte Dawson. I wanted to do just that myself, but failed to get it done.
I am so pleased to see the recent copy of the Journal of Adoption is dedicated to her and L’wren. It is so good to hear from you
It has been believed that trees have souls. It has been proven that trees possess awareness. I believe if Buddha was enlightened, the peace of a trees played their part. I love spotted bizarre and beautiful trees. They give so very much including life for all of us. Thank you for sharing this.