Dance of the Oak Tree

One Scene, A conversation between “woman” and “oak tree”, preceded by numerous scenes mentioning and showing the Daughters attempt to dance with him.

Woman: Why won’t you dance with Daughter?

Oak Tree: Because I am a tree and I cannot move save to grow or when wind pushes me about or if I should stretch out to the sun.

Woman: Daughter can be like the sun.

Oak Tree: She is delightful, but I need the sun to photosynthesize.

Woman: Hmmm.

Oak Tree: She makes carbon dioxide and sometimes even gives me extra water, but then I need the sun to make sugars and oxygen.

Woman: Wait, what does the sun do?

Oak Tree: I use its energy to change carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen.

Woman: It just waves it rays over you and you can do that?  Like magick dust?

Oak Tree: No, I don’t know how it works, but that’s how it happens.

Woman:  I’ve seen plants grow underground.

Oak Tree:  Surely there was some light.

Woman: no.

Oak Tree: That’s impossible, how can you see without light?

Woman: Blind people say they can see things and they don’t have eyes.

Oak Tree: They have eyes, they just don’t work.

Woman: Sometimes.  Still, this whole bit about the sun, don’t get me wrong I really like the sun.

Oak Tree: Me too.

Woman: Have you ever thought about the thoughts smaller things have?

Oak Tree: Like ants?  Sure I watch them all day long.

Woman: Oh!  You don’t even have eyes!

Oak Tree: Ok.

Woman: No, but I was thinking smaller still.

Oak Tree: Like atoms?

Woman: Sure.  Or light particles or waves or whatever they are calling it now a days.

Oak Tree: Ok.

Woman: How do you think they know how to help with photosynthesis?

Oak Tree: That’s gay.

Woman: You’ve been growing in the city too long.

Oak Tree: Someone has to stay here.  I’m just doing my part to make this an easier place to breathe.

Woman: Many thanks.  Ok, but atoms.  Imagine that atoms can think.

Oak Tree: Unlikely, but maybe if you stretch definitions and say “think” is the same as a very basic programming.  Amazing, and complex in makeup, but basic in duty.

Woman: Sure.   How about we say they used to have full on thoughts, but they bought into a belief or a series of duties within a larger community to take on form.

Oak Tree: Nope.

Woman:  Ok.  Let’s think about people.  Imagine a new product, like a phone.  At first there is no use for this product.  But we are given access and free to cheap use and we do because it is novel.  And soon it is integrated into our jobs and then jobs are created that revolve around the phone and then soon enough-

Oak Tree: we depend on it.  Then there comes the cell phone and pay phones disappear and I can no longer afford my home phone bill.

Woman: yes.  And in way it becomes a part of our collective being.  It is in a way a function that we serve and serves us and is part of this collective existence.

Oak Tree: I don’t have a phone.

Woman: But you are part of collection of trees that somehow the park and forest service defines a forest.

Oak Tree:  “Forest” is a minimum area of land of 0.05–1.0 hectare with tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10–30 per cent with trees with the potential to reach a minimum height of 2–5 meters at maturity in situ. A forest may consist either of closed forest formations where trees of various storey’s and undergrowth cover a high proportion of the ground or open forest. Young natural stands and all plantations which have yet to reach a crown density of 10–30 per cent or tree height of 2–5 meters are included under forest, as are areas normally forming part of the forest area which are temporarily unstocked as a result of human intervention such as harvesting or natural causes, but which are expected to revert to forest.

Woman: So this part of the city is forest?

Oak Tree: Yes.

Woman: We are getting off topic.  What was I talking about?

Oak Tree: Cell phones.

Woman: Before that.

Oak Tree: Photosynthesis.

Woman: After that.

Oak Tree: Atoms thinking.

Woman: I should start again, and maybe be a little more to the point.

Oak Tree: Always a good idea.

Woman: Belief creates form.

Oak Tree: ok. What are you talking about?

Woman: This is what I was trying to illustrate with phones, but it is a little abstract and has not fully come to a physical fruition.  But imagine that particles could think and thus create a whole that is that wall, or that blade of grass, or you and me.

Oak Tree: That is a way to think of it.

Woman: I mean why do we hold together at all?

Oak Tree: Positive and negative charges.

Woman: That’s a way to think of it.  What are thoughts then?  Are they not positive and negative charges?  What is light?

Oak Tree: Particles flowing in waves.

Woman: Ok.   Think of belief as being a magnetic charge that persuades particles to have certain duties or attraction to one another to create solid form, or liquids, or gas, or ideas, or bad feelings.

Oak Tree: Particles make up bad feelings?

Woman:  Or bad feelings are charges that undermine our sense of self, which is a series of charges that influence a certain outcome: a desk, an oak tree, or an ethereal wafting woman.

Oak Tree: a desk?

Woman: for example… made from recycled plastic bottles.

Oak Tree: Ok, just making sure I understood.

Woman: So say everything that exists is a result of “beliefs” that influence our sense of self.

Oak Tree: Sure, that is not too far from how science sees things.  A little fairy tale slant on things though.

Woman: Ok, but imagine that even the particles that make up our form are a result of belief.  I mean even science has said that the majority of an atom is space.  That there is very little physical matter there.  It is just moving at different speeds.  So even atoms do not actually have form, they too are beliefs.  So from even before you were born you were convinced that you would be birthed in the form that you are.  It is nothing more than a series of compounded beliefs that result in this complex world of matter and needs and limitations.  If we could simply convince every particle in our being that we were not bound to these beliefs than we could free ourselves of ourselves, even change shape or pass through walls, or dance with Daughter.

Oak Tree:  How do you propose we undertake such convincing?

Woman: Thus far I have relied on unrelenting persistence.  Such devotion beyond reasonable belief.  For example I once moved a couch through a hallway that was much too narrow for the thing, even tilted at clever angles.

Oak Tree: Why was an ethereal wafting woman like you moving a couch?

Woman: A woman can move a couch!  Anyhow I was a man at the time.

Oak Tree:  What?  You are mad.

Woman:  That is another matter completely.  What is important is that I tried to move this couch for hours in dozens of ways.  I took doors off hinges.  That was an endeavor all of itself.  I had no screw driver, only a quarter and a Rambo III edition hunting knife.

Oak Tree: the one with the compass on the end.

Woman: yes, but the compass had long since stopped working.  It seemed like every direction was north.

Oak Tree: too bad.  Those are nice knives.

Woman: An hour of work on the doors.  With the help of the two girls I was moving the couch for; we managed to get it into a small foyer.  That was surprising enough, and took much laboring.  We sat down on the couch and looked at the next hall that was smaller still, with steep stairs and then a sudden 180 degree turn to an even more narrow hallway.  The girls gave up.  I rested and stared.  They began talking about returning the couch to the second hand shop they bought it from in exchange for store credit.  They had given up.  So had I.  The walls were relieved that the beating they had endured was over.  And the couch had tired of being so heavy.  Then some insanity came over me.

Oak Tree: No doubt, it has not left.

Woman: I took the couch, that before we could hardly manage with three people, and I lifted the entire thing by one end.  I suppose weight forget her role as well.  While all the properties of this world were resting I ran the thing up the steep staircase, watching as the hall stepped out of our way, expanding and closing again behind me.  The girls dropped jaw in shock.  “How did that happen?”  they called after me.  I ran with the couch and turned the impossible corner and through the even more narrow hall, until the thing was in the room they had wanted.  “How did that happen?” again they ask.  “It didn’t.” I said.  I thought that was a pretty cool response.  I took my pay quickly and left.

Oak Tree: Uh.  I don’t know what to say about that.  That story is ridiculous.

Woman:  All true, I promise.

Oak Tree: You can’t possibly believe this whole thing about belief.

Woman: I do.  Or wish I did even more.

Oak Tree: I don’t want to say anything to hurt your feelings, but I don’t believe you.  And I can’t dance with Daughter.

Woman:  Can a blind man see?

Oak Tree: that is semantics.

Woman: Ok.  Can an Oak Tree talk?

Oak Tree: …… I can only manage a waltz or a society two step.

  • Metaguru

    Okay, this is fantastic.