“To the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself.” – William Blake
It’s been awhile since I sent out a newsletter like this, and it’s hard to know exactly where to begin. Perhaps with my name, which comes from “The Hidden Words” of Baha’u’llah. “The Tree of Anisa” (شجره انیسا) is a metaphorical tree from Baha’i literature which stretches between earth and heaven, as well as the title of a play my parents created the year I was born. That’s my dad on the left being the tree. (Nice extension dad).
Like the words C. G. Jung wrote on his tombstone, “First, man of the earth, terrestrial. Second, man of the sky celestial” – the tree of Anisa bridges the animal and spiritual dimensions of human nature, creating an integrated habitat within which we can thrive. In many ways, trees have always been a part of my story. Some of you planted over six hundred saplings with me at Little Pond this past spring. And those of you who know my theater work, will be familiar with my habit of dragging problematic amounts of organic material indoors. Throughout a number of plays I wove furniture out of wild vines, built walls with firewood, and embroidered costumes with leaves and fur. Perhaps it’s inevitable then, that I should eventually locate my work to the forest, where trees abound and do not require interacting with UHAUL or gallons of Rosco Flamex spray.