I was just sitting at my computer thinking about all the shoots that I have completed over my career as a professional photographer. I decided to flip through my Aperture album. Sometimes I like to reflect on my work. I guess you could say that it helps provide stimulation for my next project.
I came upon this photo that I snapped of a broken tree on my property.
Unfortunately, one of my favorite places of inspiration fell victim to a nasty ice storm last winter. I was almost remorseful when I picked up the phone and called the crew at a local tree service company. A part of me felt glad that they had “tree care” in their name as silly as that sounds.
Since I couldn’t seem to just let the old girl go, I decided to keep the main trunk intact and turned the rest into some amazing firewood. I guess I have this vision of using it for a table or a coffee table in my head. The thing about being an artist is that we generally have a lot of friends who are artists. My buddy is an amazing woodworker and craftsmen. After a few years of seasoning and drying, I’m going to have him craft something for me out of my former friend.
It’s always been my grand plan to open a gallery. I keep dreaming that one day it will actually happen. I just need to keep taking active steps. I think it would be really cool to display some of my photography of the tree on a table made with the same tree. Another cool idea that I have is to have some frames made out of the extra wood. I’ll use those frames to exhibit a print of the tree. I feel like it adds another dynamic to the conversation.
If anything, maybe the fact that the tree will live on and bring joy to others in their home makes it easier for me to cope. I simply couldn’t see myself burning the wood. There is such a finality with that, almost like a cremation. I know that carbon is the essence of life and the ashes from the tree could be returned to the soil as fertilizer, but I just want something as a remembrance.
I have to say that I’m dreading this coming winter in Iowa. Actually, I can’t believe that I even survived the winter of 2013. Thank God for Amana furnaces! Every time I gaze out the window I expect to see my fallen friend. It still saddens me that she’s gone.