5 Minutes Cut Short

A young dogwood is visible through my kitchen window.  Only a child of seven should climb the dogwood, and not too high, lest the nimble branches bend and break.

Dogwood with Pergola

I wasn’t holding this rationale thought while seeking a distraction from tedious Saturday chores.  I simply wanted to spend 5 minutes in the dogwood.  The sky was cloudless blue, the temperature a balmy 64 degrees.  Seemed like a good idea.

With torso wedged between two thigh-sized branches and feet pressed against an ever moving limb I did not find my place of mediative calm.   After a minute of discomfort, I entertained the possibility of climbing a little higher so I could reach the pergola.

Mistake number two.

I touched the pergola with my hand, but the movement in the tree, my weight shifting, my feet pinched was far from a soulful experience.  I needed to sit.  I extended my right leg and pressed my bare foot against the beam.  The cedar was cool, somewhat slimy.  I’d say I held this position for seconds before losing my balance.

I am upright by the dogwood trunk.

My shin hurts like mad.

I have not broken a bone.

2 Seconds in a Tree

When I sought my MFA, we explored gathering research through direct experiences, primary research.  A classmate stuck her head in the toilet bowl and flushed to experience rushing water sweeping her hair into a troll style.  I had no desire to flush my head.   But the tree experience seemed worth trying.

In conclusion.

I would not recommend falling from a tree to gather research.

There are safer ways to spend 5 Minutes in a Tree.

That, too constitutes research.  Sane research.


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