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Messengers and dancers, serene seers, and restless seekers climb ladders and cross bridges, look in and look out of windows, map dream cities. Philosophers and dreamers remember ancient songs and catch hints of the music of the future. Poets, weavers and singers travel through time, listening for soul truth. Friends sit in contemplative conversation. Poets and storytellers listen under the night sky, beside large vessels, close to trees.

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Bowls are utterly real and also powerfully metaphoric. Bowls hold many things: oatmeal and tea and soup, plants and earth, light, water, air, love. We are also vessels, filled with various qualities, elements, and energies, bowls of language and soul.

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I often make small drawings of leaves and triangles. Sometimes there are nearby people made of leaves and triangles. More formal art is inspired by the verticality of spine and tree trunk, curves of the river, the full moon, the elegant lines and bright circles which form the letters of our words.  I'm drawn to the wisdom of certain shapes—circles of hope and wholeness, playful  spirals, triangles of intention, sturdy focused squares. It is as if we are overhearing a conversation between energy and structure, the intimate and the distant. 

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Trees standing alone,
trees standing together,
a parade, a council,
a hermit on the hillside.


Trees of imagination and memory.

Trees of childhood,
trees that we told our secrets to,

street trees at 10 am, talking among
themselves after the neighborhood empties out.

Guardians, teachers, friends,
trees with clumps of winter cloud
in their leaves,
later their branches will embrace
the moon.

from the poem

“Thinking with Trees” ©2016  J. Ruth Gendler

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