Imagining a Change in Form to Establish Roots in Meaning


The oak outside my window is alive in a way I cannot experience. Its body is an entirely different world; its DNA venerable; its essence alien.

I sit here writing, taking casual sips of coffee, curious about the nature of things like trees. And suddenly I’m overcome by a peculiar longing: I want to become a tree–to know its tireless and entirely purposeful aspects; its large-scale existence, unapologetic, held tight to a benevolent Earth; its indefinable, perhaps unknowable simplicity.

I want to know what it’s like to give shade to bookworms, picnicking lovers, sleepy children; feel the temperature fluctuate across uncounted days and seasons; to be visited by myriad animals with all their dependences; to absorb warm light; to drink cold rain; to burst into flower-song.

I imagine I am this tree: alive in that way I cannot experience; my body an entirely different world, my DNA plant, my essence something akin to God.
 
Jason Sturner
 


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Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He is a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society and has published four books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, Selected Poems 2004-2007 and Collected Poems (all available as free downloads; see website). In addition to poetry he writes short stories of psychological horror and the supernatural. He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.