I wish that I could paint, or draw. Then I could show some of the strange and beautiful things I have seen, in real Life, and even in my mind (“unreal” Life?). But all I have is Words. And it can take a thousand words or more to describe a thing, a person, a scene, or even a dream. And even then I wonder if others “see”, through my words, what I had seen.
I have been seeing a tree, this one not tangible (at least not yet!). It is very tall, but the trunk precariously thin for the crown it carries. Its many branches still lush, but twisting in the winds, and therefore shedding their leaves, fruit and flowers as they seem to fight against themselves.
The tree stands against a background of deep green mountains, dotted with the flowering trees of Immortelle, Pouis, Chaconia and Jacaranda, almost all the colours of the Rainbow self, and through these mountains clear streams flow, laughing as they tumble down the hills, to the songs of birds and the flashing lights of sapphire blue butterflies.
But our tree is bedded in the barren gravel of a dried up stream at the edge of a stone quarry. Its roots are short and shriveled, belying the lushness of its crown.
The crown, so apparently green and laden, looks so different upon closer scrutiny. Each branch supports a major sector of our society, and then branches off, again and again into its own subsectors. And the branches keep tossing wildly, as if they are in conflict with each other, as if they would tear the whole crown from the trunk.
And they are in conflict. And they will tear the crown away!
And if you could look, as I have looked, into the tree, at the point where all the branches spring from the trunk, you would be amazed. The tiniest flow of water is being sucked up through the trunk from the arid stream bed below. And at the junction of the trunk and the branches, scores of hideous little creatures are fighting—each group fighting to suck the flow of water into their branch alone, and trying to block the flow to the other branches. And as the branches spread, the same fighting, by different creatures, occurs at every fork.
And the fruit of the tree, shriveled and force-ripe, falls on the barren ground below: dead babies, unfinished hospitals, broken bridges, broken hearts and broken dreams. And the seeds in these fruit are as barren as if Monsanto send them for we.
As I sit and watch the tree threshing itself, its trunk wining like a jamette in heat, the ends of the branches shriveling before my eyes, an old Lady comes hobbling by. Is Miss Eva from another story: Miss Eva from by Petit Riviere along the Paria Main Road. She was living there with Mr. Le Blanc, he an old white man in the wilderness, with long silver hair. He told us, as we paused, heading for Matelot long ago, that it was ozone from the forest and the sea which kept them alive and healthy.
And now Miss Eva spoke to me, as I watched with trepidation the torture of the tree. She shook her head sadly and said: “Each set of them up there trying to take all the little bit of water for their branch alone. If they would all come down and nurture the roots self, all would get water and the tree would come back strong, and you could sit here in the shade, by the stream and suck fruits till your belly full”. And then she faded away into a puff of ozone.
And I looked up at the crown again, and the fighting was becoming more violent. The branches were beating against each other, and force ripe fruit began falling all around me, stinking rotten things, just smashing on the stones, and emitting foul odours of chemicals and oil. As I watched, it became obvious that the narrow trunk could not survive the violence in its crown.
Miss Eva reappeared. But she was angry now. “Allyuh too harden!” she said. And she pursed her old lips and blew a powerful blast of ozone at the tree.
The branches were ripped from the trunk, and the trunk itself split from its headless neck to its shriveled roots, into a million long fibres, and the tree crashed into the dried stream bed. All the ugly little creatures began scrambling out into the sunlight, but none could survive the light of day, and all shriveled like the tree had, and died before my eyes.
In the silence that followed I asked “What kind of tree was that, Miss Eva?”
“That was the tree of T&T”.