I have always found trees to be an inspiration in my life. As a child my father encouraged me to recognize the different varieties of trees when we hiked in the woods. As a teenager I discovered the joy of building tree swings and spent hours and hours dangling from a rope wrapping and unwrapping around the trunks of trees in great arcs in a tree swinging style we called “around the worlds”. As a college student studying philosophy and religion at KU, wracked with anxiety over my place in the world, a great white pine spoke to me through its beauty on a misty foggy February morning and basically told me everything is o k just the way it is – just be what you are. Since then I’ve paid more attention to beauty everywhere but especially as it manifests in trees and find that it calms me when I’m upset and inspires me when I’m calm.
I began lighting the Magic Tree on a whim just lighting a few branches all the way out to the ends and back again by wrapping the light strings around the branch. It made a spray pattern like a frozen fountain or firework. I got such rave reviews from neighbors and friends I couldn’t help myself the next year but to try and better what I had done the previous year. I must credit your encouragement over the years as a significant motivating factor in producing what you see before you today. Your stories of what you experience when viewing the Magic Tree remind me of my own experience with that great white pine on the KU campus that later that same year (1979) was stuck by lightning and blew up, due to its sap content I suppose.
The Untitled Notes (Full text can be found on the 2006 flier under the Magic Tree page. Scroll down to page 2 of the flier.) was made available to pick up at the Magic Tree in 2006. The titles of the photographs I have on display are derived from it. The words attempt to reflect the Indefinable Infinite Source that of course cannot be adequately comprehended or described but can be accessed through our relationships with each other, our world, and even the relationship we have with ourselves. It seems we find the most meaning when we look in between the lines of text, or in between the images or colors in a painting, photograph or the scene out the window; in between two beings or whole groups of beings. In between there is nothing that meets the eye but there is a relationship and there beauty may be found that heals the hurts and calms the fears and inspires the mind and fills the heart when we consider the absolute good and perfect unconditional power that is characteristic of the One Presence.