The Tree Climb

Well its been several weeks since my last post. No real reason for this, except that I just haven’t had that much to say. I guess I have approached the quiet stage of growth, which is a new sensation for me, as for those who know me personally, I am not what anyone would usually describe as quiet. 

The Tree Climb – Acrylic on canvas

You see I am trying to concentrate on what is happening in the present and not push my vision towards the “Should have’s” and “Will do’s”. I am concentrating on what is happening now, and because of this there really isn’t much to speak about. When you are in the present, everything just simply is. 

When someone asks, how are you? I reply with “I am good”, not great, or awesome or excited, or miserable, or this happened or that, just good. When I am asked what are you up to? I say “nothing much, just the usual” and leave it as this. This is a new habit I am forming and I am at the uncomfortable stage and it’s getting to the point were I prefer not to speak with anyone at all, as I am not used to this feeling of simplicity, I don’t trust myself with this yet. 

You see I have always been a “talker” my Grandmother described me once as a “Bubbling brook” or (my favourite) “A noisy Kettle” – I have a habit of being a bit little too much. When I say habit I really mean this as it sounds – You see my constant chatter and loud voice can be seen as a something fun and energetic. I can fill up the silence in the room like a dam bursting, and at a quiet strained dinner party my chatter and conversation can be a relief for some people, however I know this personality “quirk” that can also repel others. Like an insecure dog barking at the gate, I use my energy as a tool to keep people away, and it is rather quite effective. 

So effective infact I have lost some friendships in my life I initially thought would always be there. Of course there were other life factors that created these rifts. But once again this year I have found my trusted friendship circle deflated some what. With this I have realised that maybe some fault can be laid at my door. You see I finally saw the pattern I was creating for myself in order to keep myself “secure”. 

Now patterns or habits can be something that defines you, and also be something that can control and take over your life. And as my latest friendship demise occurred, I realised that this is something that needs to be recognised so that I can change it. I was pondering how to do this on one of my walks, when I came across a magnificent expired Red Gum. The trunk was covered in vines with strips of bark falling off the extinct form, as if I had caught the tree undressing. 

It is a strange thing to witness such a magnificent tree merging into the forrest.  A once vibrant infallible Gum now slowly decaying and breaking down into the earth. As I stood there and acknowledged this amazing fact of nature. I wondered to myself what was the “thing” that brought this huge tree to its end? Looking closer again, I came to an answer. Along with the passage of time, the ivory and other vines that were still crawling up around and over the now dead trunk, had slowly taken over, and strangled this magnificent being. 

Habits are similar to these vines, life patterns can climb and twist the individual into something unrecognisable, they can take over and strangle the life out of something that once seemed so strong and unwavering. 

These vines, these habits, on first glance can seem harmless, but are in-fact penetrating and will eventually bring down even the strongest tree. However it is not all death and destruction, unlike a tree rooted to the ground, humans are flexible, we can adjust, we can change where we are standing. Once a pattern has been recognised you can simply move away from it, you can pull the vines off the tree trunk, you can stop the habit killing the tree by simply moving yourself away from the pattern forming. 

This is what I have found myself doing this year. I have found myself moving away from what I used to do, from everything I used to do. I am in the process of stripping off the vines that have been strangling my growth over the years, leaving my bark raw and new. Now what is left to do is, to trust in who I am and find my roots again, rediscover my core, and grow towards the sun.  

These are the musing which has inspired this my latest painting, titled “The Tree Climb” Acrylic on canvas. I felt a kin to this tree, witnessing its decay and by painting its end journey it encourages me to continue on to this new path, this new way of being. 

I hope  everyone is looking after themselves and staying safe. Peace to everyone of my beautiful readers. 

Published by allihoward123

Allison Howard main passion has always been story telling works predominantly with illustration and completed her MFA at Monash University, Melbourne 2012. Graduating with the Chancellors award for best Thesis. Allison Has worked and collaborated with many artists and exhibitions, in both Australia and New Zealand. To be kept up to date with Allison's latest activity and to view her current and archived works please visit Instagram @alli.howard123 and hit the follow button.

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