I seem to remember that one of my favourite authors, J.R.R Tolkien, was especially fond of trees, too. Maybe in an essay about his mythopoetical theories that was attached to the story called 'Leaf by Niggle', he wrote something to the effect of: 'small-minded, mediocre persons cannot stand large trees, they cannot live next to them, cannot tolerate anything greater near them- so they cut them down.' Sadly, when I look into certain suburbs and modern gardens and homes (and minds!), I have to agree with him.
Montag, 17. Mai 2010
Some cultural historian once wrote that trees have taught the Germanic peoples how to stand straight and march in line. While that may have been a bit polemically exaggerated, it certainly does have a point. I do think that even today people of Middle and Northern Europe –and their cultural descendants elsewhere- share certain cultural traits that could be recurred to some kind of forest lore. Trees have not only given us shelter, have kept us warm with their leaves and the fuel that their wood provided for our fires, but also have given us culture: letters (the German Buchstabe [literally: beech-stick] means letter) as well as writing, books, prophecy, myth and oracle-magic (a future); yet also dreaminess, wisdom and the famed idealism. Trees teach us how to face life standing up straight, how to have pride in ourselves, but they also reveal and sway and again conceal things beyond our reach: the skies and the sun and beyond those- the stars and the ocean of night, and they sing of them with the voices of leaves.