Tree as Closet or Container ...

Wild West Highway Memory Tree, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

We passed this tree on our way through Central Oregon and Tim, knowing how much I love photographing these kinds of scenes, kindly turned the car around, then woke me up with this surprise. (he's starting to get it, that we cannot go on a trip -- anywhere -- without at least a few photo-stops along the way.)

The tree has been dead for a long time. The shoes hanging in it's bone-white branches are a poignant reminder -- rememory -- of people who died in car accidents over the years ... along this narrow two lane highway. The twisting road dips into treacherous blind spots through rolling palouse prairie and dryland farm fields.

There are women's heeled boots, athletic shoes, dance shoes, work shoes, farm boots and child's keds. Even a small pair of baby high-tops ... the shoes bear the imprints, the stories and bendings of their owners' lives. Some shoe pairs are worn-out and ragged while others are barely used, almost new.

I am reminded of our humanity, of our individuality and our connection to each other, to all of creation. I am reminded of how the death of one of us affects so many, of how a loved one can be taken from us in an instant ... whether we have loved that one for a few months or a lifetime.

Here are a few more pics of shoe trees:

and a few more recent tree images. It's worth clicking on the slideshow below to see the larger images:


Patia said...

Gorgeous picture(s).

And what an amazing husband to turn the car around while you were asleep!

maureen said...

Yeah, Patia - he is amazing - every once in awhile he does something like that. in fact, every lots of onces in awhiles... i sure do love 'im

thanks for your comment, btw. I'm glad you actually read the post, too. Makes me smile :-D

Pam said...

I have been waiting patiently for your return, I knew it would be a feast for the eyes and soul!

I lingered over every photo in your slide show, you have amazing vision and such a talent. Your connection to the trees is captivating, I love them, too.

The bare tree with all the shoes...well, what you said is so true, and the photo captures it.

Tim gets a "huzzah!" for thinking of you and your work and turning around.

maureen said...

Pam - you are so kind. You bring a little beam of shining light into my day ... and i'm glad to be able to do the same for you. Hope you've been well the last few weeks.

Thank you for your comments about the photos and trees. Have you seen the blog post I wrote about trees back in April? I posted it to my other blog, Raven's Nest, because it has more text than photos. I think you would really appreciate the post, Pam -- it is mostly a long excerpt (with my imagery) from Wandering by Hermann Hesse. I bet you'll like it -- enjoy! :-D