The Woods

The woods will ruin a lesser man.
They’re evil.
Teeming with creatures.
Teeming with whispers.
The woods carry cold,
hold onto cold,
but prosper insects in summer.
They’re everywhere;
the scorpions,
ticks,
centipedes.
You can’t lay down or relax
in the neverending mess of
leaves, dust, twigs, and pebbles.

Though the arms of the trees
bring you the moon.
Their dead warm your house,
build your pubs and tables.
Their leaves give you breath.

The woods are obstacles and evil to men.
They need to be destroyed
for new neighborhoods to be built.
Comfortable and romantic to women.
There for vacations and fires.
They are scary and alluring to children.
Home to wizards, witches, and faeries.


COMMENTARY

I live in a house on a hill, surrounded by tens of acres of thick woods. Mostly gnarled old oak trees, with an occasional pine, and some brambly trees like mulberry. The oak trees are interesting in their variability. Some are old, falling apart and decaying right before your eyes. Some are strong, sound, beaming, sociable and communal. Others, just years old, beginning their development and pining for the sky and moonlight. The woods are at once alluring, magical, enveloping, consuming, scary, and populated with a trillion spirits and life forms. They have the power to get into your psyche and expand your perspective on life, time, and existence, but also unsettle your deepest fears. I always feel I have been given something when I go into the woods and come back out. In a sense — the woods are psychedelic.

And yet many men (those of the testosterone sex) approach the woods as something to conquer, remove, and use for utility. I find this unfortunate, and something that comes from places of fear, insecurity, immaturity, and insignificance… nearly all evil and destruction of the testosterone male derives out of his struggle with insignificance. It originates in the importance, the stress, the need to perform his biological “duties” and the fear of those failures. Though his deepest fragility resides in his perceived reality of cosmic insignificance — which being a lone wolf (“my way or the highway”, “my family”, “my home”) he has failed to reconcile with the continuity of everything. And the woods; the woods are quite the opposite of this.

Trees are the guardians of Earth and our closest metaphor of the nature of the Cosmos. Our teachers. Our highest forms of life here.

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