There Was A Tree

The tree was cut down and dragged across the field to the side of the field where it was sawed into pieces
By
Claire-Louise Bennett
"How can we get vague thoughts and impressions to combine with the reality that will evoke them, so that not only the thoughts, but also the reality itself will be expressed? And how can we get form and content to live and grow with and within each other, as plants, for example, grow in the natural world?’ Inger Christensen, ‘The Condition of Secrecy’, (1992).

The tree is not there now. It was cut down and dragged across the field to the side of the field where it was sawed into pieces. There was no chopping, only sawing. The tree was cut down and dragged across the field to the side of the field where it was sawed into pieces by a chainsaw. And then what happened to it? I don’t know. Its sawn up parts were fed into one of those chipping machines. And then what happened to it? I don’t know. It became chippings. And then what happened to it? I don’t know. It was taken in big green and orange sacks up to the top of the hill and was slung down and spread around, all around the swings all around the slide all around the roundabout, in the new playground at the top of the hill. And then what happened to it? I don’t know. Children ran all over it on their way over to the slide and on their way back from the swings, and sometimes they picked a piece of the chipping up and felt its texture between their fingertips and sniffed in its smell through their noses, as they went around and around on the roundabout. And then what happened to it? I don’t know. A child jumps off the roundabout and at the same time throws the piece of chipping that they have been feeling and sniffing at another child, and that child bends down right away in order to pick up a piece of chipping to throw back, and soon they are both doing this, bending down, picking up a piece of woodchipping to throw back, and soon again they are no longer picking up just one piece, but many pieces, all at once, and they fling as many pieces of woodchip as they can gather up, they fling them towards each other, not really at each other anymore, just in the other’s direction, and the other isn’t so far away anymore, all the time they have been picking up and flinging their woodchips they have been moving closer and closer together, there is hardly any distance between them now, when they bend down to pick up more of the woodchips they can see the other’s hands easily, delving into the woodchips, and they watch the other’s hands delving around in the woodchips, and it’s as if the hands of the other has become creatures when they are down there like that, going through the woodchip, they are not really human parts any more, not while they are on the ground like that, moving through the woodchip, no longer even picking it up, just moving around among the woodchip, both of them, side-by-side now, their hands moving through the woodchip, and they don’t say anything, their mouths are too far away to say anything, both of their mouths are far away, very far away. One of them drops down and so does the other, they both drop down at the same time, one of them is smaller so it seems like he dropped down a split second before the other, both of them are on their hands and knees in the woodchipping now and it feels better to be closer to it like this, it feels like they are getting closer to solving something, they lie down, to be even closer again, they do this very soon after dropping down to their hands and knees, they do it almost right away, lying down in the woodchip feels even better, even better again, they feel they are getting even closer now to solving something, they can really smell it now, they can really feel its texture now, they feel it with their whole body, they smell it with their whole body, their whole body is on the ground, and there are woodchips, everywhere, all over the ground, beneath their bodies, lying there, the two of them, the two bodies, side-by-side, one of them is a boy the other one is a girl. They lie together side-by-side, the little girl is a little bit bigger than the little boy, they are lying on their bellies and the woodchips press into one of their cheeks each, they press into the girl’s left cheek, they press into the boy’s right cheek, they are facing one another, the little girl is a little bit bigger than the little boy, somebody is calling both of their names now, both of their names are being called, one after the other, again and again, and they listen, they lie completely still facing one another and they listen to the sound of their names being called, over and over, listening to their names, listening to their names. And then what happened to it? I don’t know. It pressed into the little girl’s left cheek and it pressed into the little boy’s right cheek, and it pressed into their soft resting palms, and it pressed into their small sighing bellies and it pressed into their surrendered knees and heavy thighs, it pressed in, it pressed in. And then what happened to it? It pressed in and it pressed in and the little girl and the little boy heard the sounds of their names being called, one after the other, one after the other, it was going away, going away, it was going away, and the little girl and the little boy closed their eyes, peacefully, they both closed their eyes peacefully, they could feel so many woodchips pressing into them now, pressing into them all over, into their cheeks, into their palms, into their bellies, their knees, their thighs, by now the sound of their names being called was so very far away, it was only a very far off thing, and the little boy and the little girl they both lay there, nice and peacefully, side-by-side, feeling the bliss throughout their bodies as they felt their bodies getting close, getting even closer, their bodies down there were really solving something now, they could feel it, it was the most blissful feeling they had ever felt, they felt it everywhere, they felt it in every part of their body, their whole body, their whole body, their two little bodies, lying there, the two of them, two little bulbs, side-by-side, facing each other, facing each other, the little girl was a little bit bigger than the little boy.  

No items found.