Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Rebel, 2003

I was sitting in the dentist’s chair waiting for novocaine to numb my mouth for a root canal. No matter how good the drugs or gentle the dentist or assured that the procedure would bring an end to what had been a lot of pain, I was having a hard time getting excited about it.

Then I noticed this tree outside the window. (Or maybe it's just a big shrub. Whatever.)

My spirits lifted immediately. Here was nature doing her very best to stick it to the will of man. I’d been coming to this dentist for years, so I remembered how this window had once framed a view of a whole bunch of these trees (or shrubs). But over the years they had either died or been blown down in hurricanes, leaving just this one survivor.

As the dentist drilled away at the roots of my sorry molar, I searched for metaphorical connections between my roots and the tree’s roots. But that journey ended quickly. What did occur to me was that the white building in the background was a juvenile psychiatric treatment facility, where
despite efforts of a landscape crew to control it, to keep it shaped and within the lines, left to its own devices for a few months this tree went in search of its own bliss. How many young boys and girls who were feeling painfully out of step with themselves and the world around them do you suppose looked out their windows and saw that tree as a fellow traveler?

Talk about your metaphors.


  1. Oh, that IS fabulous! I love it. I think it might be a Monty Python "shrubbery." Great story!

  2. Hey! Wonderful. I went to Juvy School out in the woods of Mississippi. We would be cutting pulp-wood logs, clearing fence lines, a pack of delinquents pretty oblivious to the surroundings... just cutting and ripping away, until THWAP! Sometimes a pissed-off tree could knock a boy off the tractor, send the chainsaw flying, or at the least put a big red one across a frothy brow.
    Trees know. And, they never popped me no lie.
    Rebels indeed. You are really something.

    You really seem to do photography the Ansel Adams way, to wit: for the fun of it, and I love it to bits.
    We hung you onto today's Ladder.
    H/T from Repaired-Skull Bob.

    Thanks youz,
    Editilla~New Orleans Ladder