Message From The Trees

They say every 100 years there is a great storm
They say the winds are so destructive
That they could knock down an entire forest
As a tree myself, well, I’m concerned,
Especially since the clouds have begun to hover
Dark and ominous above me

Lately, every waking hour,
I find myself thinking about this storm
Fearing it
Staring up at that great expanse of grey apocalyptic sky
In hopelessness
The thing about being a tree is
You aren’t able to run from danger
If a fire or a storm is headed your way
The only thing you can do is sit there and wait for it to hit you
And pray that somehow, miraculously, it doesn’t
It’s like in the movies when the character’s been kidnapped and tied to the tracks
And they’re waiting for the oncoming train
Waiting for impact
That’s how I feel lately
Like I’m waiting for impact

I guess I must’ve jinxed it, thinking about it so much
Because the next thing I knew
I felt the first few drops hit me
Light as could be
But boy did those clouds look heavy up above

I closed my eyes
Fearfully
Panic rising in my hollow chest
And that’s when they all fell
An entire ocean raining down
Heavy as buckets
Pounding against my head
Water turning colder, turning to hail
Bits of ice falling
Like so many sharp pieces of glass against my skin

And then the winds came
I’ve never felt such winds in my life
I dug my roots into the earth as deep as i could
And held on fiercely
I saw two trees in front of me break in half with an awful SNAP
And the third tree – my neighbor, my friend – Isabelle – fell straight over
How gracefully she fell
Like a ballerina on point
Who had lost her footing
But at a deathly cost

I was afraid
I looked to the left to my brother
And the right to my sister
They were both as terrified as I was
I reached out two branches
And intertwined my arms with theirs
We steadied ourselves
With the three of us linked together the wind seemed like less of a burden to carry
But around us our friends, neighbors and strangers were still struggling
Falling
Losing limbs
And so we reached out our arms to them
One by one
Each tree adding to our chain link
Our offering spreading down the line like a wildfire of hope, until it reached the very last struggling tree

The entire forest was now one unit
Bearing against the turning of the tides
Oaks, Elms, Pines, Junipers
It no longer mattered what we called ourselves
We were no longer divided by names
We were one
All around us the storm raged
The air a battleground
But somehow I felt steady
Held
Calm
Loved
I was a part of something greater than myself
And that made me stronger

…………

Eventually the storm passed
And we all sighed in exhaustion
Some of us weeping
Some of us laughing
Some of us in a state of shock
Slightly out of our minds, numb, and invigorated all at once

Water covered the soil below us like a newly formed lake
Looking down
I caught a glimpse of my own wavering reflection in a puddle between my roots
And I realized that I had lost all my leaves
My beautiful leaves
My oranges and yellows and greens
All gone
I was only wood
I didn’t recognize myself
Who was this barren trunk, strong like a brick wall?
This warrior woman
With the sharpness of truth blazing in her eyes?
The longer I looked
The more I realized
That something deep had changed inside of me
My leaves would grow back
As leaves always do
But I would never again be the same tree
For I had been a part of something that was greater than myself
And that had made me stronger

-Lucy Schwartz

The Box

I started to wonder what would happen if time could be contained inside a wooden box
And if every New Year’s Eve
When the clock struck twelve
Each person on Earth was presented with a box and a key
Upon which they could choose to open their box of time
And see forth into the future
Of the coming year
Through dusty crystal ball
Or talisman
Or hand-scribbled clue left in the box
Perhaps each person’s box would contain something different
Unique as the person themself
One soul might open their box and find a roll of film and a projector
From which they could literally watch the entire year to come
Agonizing in advance over certain unpleasant chapters
And rewinding to watch their favorite scenes over and over
Reliving the best moments before they’ve even been lived
Another person might find a hefty script or a novel
Their life in print
Every word of their future dialogue written down, play by play
And seemingly unchangeable
Written in ink, not pencil
Or perhaps for some, this mysterious fortune-telling box would contain something much less concrete
Maybe the only thing they’d find in that large wooden box would be a small, simple, poem
Cryptic but telling
Words that could be interpreted and misinterpreted a thousand different ways
The box would deliver them truth and still leave them guessing
Or maybe for an unlucky few
When they opened their annual New Year’s box, they’d find –
Nothing –
Just an empty box
The end of their future near

Imagine the possibilities
And the danger
If the future was not this foggy thing
Unclear and out of reach
But instead something that you could hold in your hands
And if it were so
And your very own box was laid out in front of you
Would you open it?
Would you look?
Would you dare?
Would I?

-Lucy Schwartz

tumblr_maiil6mAXK1qgps7xo1_500.png

Winged Woman

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 1.30.13 (bigger file) PM.png
Fall or don’t fall
The trick is to jump
And see where you land
In sky or sand
Your wings will flap if they can
And hold you aloft
In heights you hadn’t even dared to dream of before
And if your wings are not strong enough yet
To keep you held mid-air like a fairy
Then fold your wings around yourself
Like a cocoon
Like a ball
So that when you fall down, down, down, to the earth you will not break
You will simply roll
Towards something new
Towards something closer to
You

Fall or don’t fall
The trick is to jump

– Lucy Schwartz

Mark-Glovsky-Collection-Dive-31.jpg

Note: I do not own the photographs included in this post, but I always try to link the photographs to their original source (when I can find it). If you want to find out more about the beautiful images & the photographers you can click on the images.

Hope Springs

new-wishing-well.jpg
We had an old well in my childhood home
My mother nicknamed it “Hope Springs”
And when she’d pull up the water, she’d smile and say
“Drink up. Everyone could use a drop of hope.”

I remember the water from Hope Springs
It tasted different than other water
It was cooler somehow
Smoother somehow
It slid down your throat and down to your belly and seemed to warm you from the inside
A tingly feeling that rippled from your head to your fingertips to your toes
If I was ever scared or anxious or sad or just unsure of myself
I would drink from the well
And it seemed to make everything just a little bit better
I believed it was magic
That it could cure almost anything

Standing here, outside the house, ten years later,
I know better than to believe in magic water
When you’ve been through a war it feels as if all magic has been drained from the world
What I had experienced – what I had seen – could not be cured

My house used to be a beautiful cottage
Flowers blooming in the front yard
Clean white walls
With a smart blue trim on the windows
Now it is black and grey
Charred and broken in bits from bombs
Most of it no longer stands
But instead lays crumbled on the ground
As sad and damaged as the rest of us
A piece of glass from the window lays before my feet on the dead grass
I can just barely make out the blue trim underneath the jet black charring

Everything has changed now
Nothing is the same

The only thing that still stands is Hope Springs
I don’t know how she did it
How she stood so tall and strong
She was already a very old well
She had been on the property long before us
I’d thought she might be the first to pass
But there she was
Cracked a little maybe
And dusty
But still herself
I walked over to her longingly
Lowered the rope with the bucket down into the water
And pulled it back up
The same way my mother used to
I expected the water to be dirty but it was crystal clear

For old time’s sake
I took a sip of the water

It went down like silk
And warmed my belly
I felt a tingling run through my body
And then I felt a most peculiar thing
I felt a weight lift off of me
One that I had been carrying for a long, long, time
I hadn’t realized how heavy it was until it was gone
It was like giant boulders had been lifted from my back, my heart, my stomach, and my mind
And for the first time in nearly a decade, I felt like everything might just be okay after all
Like there was a chance for the human race
And for me
I felt something resembling peace
The water’s magic, it seemed, had gone unharmed

A familiar thought came to me
A phrase I hadn’t heard in years
And I smiled
Eyes tearing
Because I could hear her voice in my head saying
“Drink up. Everyone could use a drop of hope.”

– Lucy Schwartz

Note: I do not own the photograph included in this post, but I always try to link photos to their original source (when I can find it). If you want to find out more about the beautiful image & the photographer you can click on the image.

The Only Way Forward Is Together

The whole world aches

The whole world is sore

The pain of the wound is too deep to tend to alone

The weight of the wound is too heavy to carry alone

So we must carry it together

And as each hand joins to carry the wound, hands clasping together, united,
Another stitch is made

And we come closer to healing

And closer to each other

Closer to the source of consciousness which tells us: we are all one.

I cannot hurt you without simultaneously hurting myself. I cannot feel without you being affected. Any feeling within me, be it love, anger, joy, or pain, ripples through the thousand invisible connections and is felt by you.

There is no difference between you and I, only space, only barriers, only skin, only molecules, and even that is an illusion

The only way forward is together

-Lucy Schwartz
April-2014.34

Note: I do not own the photograph included in this post, but I always try to link the photographs to their original source (when I can find it). If you want to find out more about the beautiful image & the photographer you can click on the image.

The Dig (The Art of Uncovering A Story)

Cloudy-headed thoughts arrive
Wanting to tell me something
Wanting to show me something
I follow the thoughts and find myself standing in a plot of unearthed land
And somehow I know, deep within,
There are treasures hiding underneath the soil

I notice a shovel
Lying in the dew-covered morning dirt,
I grab the shovel and – for no logical reason – I dig
And dig
And dig
Hours pass
The sun peeks out from the clouds
Heating the air
And baking my skin
Steam rising off of me
And dripping in small pools down my brow
I dig and I dig
Forgetting myself
Forgetting the time
Forgetting all sensible actions
Until I hit something hard
It’s…
A wooden object
Like a stick
Upon it
Engraved words
From another’s language
I have no idea what the text means
But it is beautiful to look at
Sweeping and lyrical phrases
Which envelop the eyes in a type of visual symphony
And it is old, this object,
Maybe hundreds of years old
I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life
And somehow, at the same time, it is eerily and most-lovingly familiar to me

I continue to carve the object out from the earth
Moving moistened brown dirt up and away
My arms tiring,
Aching and sore,
But my heart a-flutter
Thrilled by the discovery
And as I uncover it more fully
I realize that what I was seeing before, was just a single leg
Out of four
Belonging to a chair

After many hours of labor
The chair is freed from the earth

I hoist it up with all my strength
Set it upon the ground
And gaze at it with wonder

My brain is pulsing with questions
Why was I led here?
Why did I listen to this insane instinct of mine to dig?
How did I know to dig in this exact spot?
And what is this ancient relic?

Is it something I lost long ago that has found it’s way back?
Or is this our first meeting?

And who carved it originally?
Some mysterious and forever nameless face from centuries past
Did this long-gone stranger want it to be found or to remain hidden?
What would they think if they knew this object had ended up in my hands?
Or did the ghost of this stranger always intend for me to find it?

Was it fate that brought me to this strange and beautiful object?
Or simply blind luck?

And…
And…
A part of me even wonders…
Did it always exist there, under the soil?
Or did I somehow dream it into being?

And now that I have birthed it from the earth,
Does it belong to me?

I’m not sure I know
I’m not sure I’ll ever know
But somehow I was led here,
And for now at least,
The mystery of it belongs to me.

-Lucy Schwartz

12352.jpg