New Orleans Writing Marathon
Day Four, Thursday, July 13, 2017
Ancient tree growing through the sidewalk, Governor NIchols Street, New Orleans, Louisiana
Walking in the morning is too hard. My feet ache from all the walking the day before, my leg muscles are stiff and weak from sleeping all night. The morning humidity is difficult to breathe as if the moisture is displacing all the oxygen.
Time oppresses this morning. I can feel the burden of centuries in the teetering live oaks growing out of the sidewalks – their ancient roots beginning to slip and rise, pushing the bricks and slabs of concrete up and aside like they are packing peanuts.
I have seen these trees lying on their sides after a violent storm. Enormous root ball exposed to the air – an obscene display of the oak’s private parts.
How many storms, named and ancient anonymous, have these giant trees endured.
Some of them… I don’t think they will make it through the next one.
I have been through too many storms – some quiet, some loud, and they have left be bent. How many more do I have left?
Not too many, maybe not enough.
“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”
― Pablo Neruda, Regalo de un Poeta
In the Cullen Sculpture Garden at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts there are many beautiful sculptures. But none are more beautiful that the naturally sculpted trunks of the crepe myrtle trees.
The Santiago Calatrava designed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge rising over the trees of the Trinity River Bottoms, Dallas, Texas.
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Dallas, Texas
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein
When you come around one certain spot in the White Rock Lake trail you pass a band of trees that line the water’s edge. There are a number of very large birds (I know nothing of what they are) that are always hanging out in these certain trees. I don’t know if it is the location or the species of trees that attracts these birds – but they are always there and I don’t see them anywhere else.
The amount of bird shit is distressing. The caustic guano kills everything. I even think there is so much nitrogen that it is killing the trees themselves. I know bird shit is a fertilizer and should help the plants…. but everything is a remedy and a poison – it all depends on the dose.
The birds must live off of fresh water fish that they catch by diving from their lofty perch. In addition to the usual acrid smell of shit – there is an overpowering fishy odor.
New Orleans, Louisiana
I have always been fascinated by the ragged cross-hatch patterns of trimmed fronds on the trunk of palm trees. Here’s one from New Orleans.
A few months ago, I posted this one, from Fair Park, here in Dallas.
(click to enlarge)