A new year: what’s my tree?

by Yule Heibel on January 1, 2012

Today I have no weekly Diigo links post on offer – I spent so much time on the road, and then resettling back into having the kids “home,” that reading fell by the wayside.

Note the scare quotes around the word home… We’re all quite unsettled, living in temporarily rented furnished quarters, without any of our familiar stuff  (utensils, tools, books, and/or equipment). It’s a bit like camping, albeit somewhat more comfortable.

But settled it ain’t.

The crush of what’s called The Holiday Season, spent alone, weighed much less heavily on the spouse and me, and consequently we felt quite liberated. But it wasn’t that much fun to drive around on Christmas Day, increasingly desperate as we looked for an open restaurant …knowing on top of it that the next day we would get up early so we could drive to Vancouver to meet our daughter at the airport (and the next day, our son)…

There’s a word that comes to mind – not one I particularly like since it has been associated with bad politics, but here it is: deracinated. I currently feel deracinated because of course I am uprooted (I’m totally in flux).

While you can uproot yourself anytime, doing so at the end of December – The Holiday Season – undeniably throws a peculiar seasoning into the mix. On the one hand, I experienced feelings of relief at being off the hook with regard to conforming to holiday rituals I can’t stand or believe in anyway, but on the other there was just a smidgen of regret at having my “fluxity” or deracination coincide with a seasonal marker that insists on traditions and O Christmas Tree roots…

Man-oh-man, the damn tree. Even in my non-Christian childhood household, the tree ruled – a veritable power-plant, no pun intended…

But on the question of power and energy, consider this: when I was pregnant with the first off-spring (and then again with the second), I had enough energy or strength to uproot trees. Seriously: I was a goddamn Amazon.

Of course, these days I think that I’d kill to have those energy levels because so often I feel like I’m stagnating as opposed to growing (like a tree). But that metaphor of uprooting trees interests me. Translate the phrase to German (that land from whence the Christmas tree hails), and “feeling strong enough to uproot trees” is: ich könnte Bäume ausreissen, and it’s a common expression.

Tear that tree out by its roots (deracinate yourself, ’cause change is good) …but then be sure to put it on display and pimp it out with lights. Because nothing says “change it up!” better than a tree that’s …well, you know: all lit up. It’s unnatural, when you think about it. But ever so human.

It’s a symbol. The uprooted tree, decked out in lights: a metaphor of your energy, and your (possibly aggressive?) ability to plant yourself (procreate) wherever you need be. A marker of your brand (lit up, pimped out, gorgeous), and simultaneously a memento of what you used to be: stuck in one place, rooted – before a human bent on deracination decided that designing nature would improve on it. How right she was.

The tree is dead. Long live the tree.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gregory January 5, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hi Yule and Werner:

Hope you find something suited to yourselves soon.

I used to live in Portland in the early 80s, so I know the atmosphere there, which I imagine is still the same.

Charlie Croft, a genius guitarist from Victoria, ruled as the lead guitarist for the dance band Upepo in those days.

Miss seeing you walking with Werner, Adam and Jigger up and down Rockland…

Peace … (vote Ron Paul to bring the troops home!)


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