Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Being a Tree in a Forest

A very lovely lady in the USA has worked out the Chinese characters for Tree in Forest for me; hopefully so we can get a seal made. She kindly made a video for me explaining her ideas; you can see it below.

This got me thinking a little this morning about why I chose Tree in Forest as a name. For me, it has a few layers of meaning and implication - and being me, it implies more questions than it answers.

The first part is the metaphor in the name, of the single person as the tree in a forest of people. All of us seemingly looking alike on the surface, but all unique individuals as we look closer. Every tree looks alike, but every one is still its own self. I also like the idea of being one part of a greater overall organism, the single tree in the larger forest. We're all one in many, after all.

Secondly, of course, is the inevitable Buddhist metaphor. We probably all know the riddle

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

It wasn't until I started looking into its derivation that I found out that it didn't originally come from Buddhism (if Wikipedia is to be believed); but it certainly fits it well. If no-one else perceives us, are we still real? Is reality defined by our existence as part of the forest, or is simply our own perception enough? And is what we see as real actually a 'reality'?

Plus, I really, really like trees.

Black Bamboo

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