Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Little Closer to the Trees by Aaron Dean

Like most folks in theater who went to college, I had to read a little Anton Chekhov. And I liked it, better than a lot of my classmates I am supposing. Didn't love it. But I liked it. I figured I got him outta the way and wouldn't really have to bother with him again really. I was pretty sure my novice understanding of the guy's work would be sufficient to get me where I wanted to be, and for the most part I was and am still correct.

But as we have been going over this stuff something im particular has touched me in a personal way, and that would be the author's apparent relationship with nature. Now, most know that he was a physician so he must have been a man of science...now, that's real science, emperical science, not lobby science or commitee science or let's sell this fuckin' pill science so I can buy my mistress a lexus science like most physicicans now. He seemed to have a sort of spiritual understanding and appreciation for those things that we can see and feel and test and question, a very admirable comingling of the physical and the metaphysical that in today's divisive atmosphere, where you must choose a team, is very refreshing, and terribly moving.

Read the way the old boy talks about trees, their benefits to humans, humanity, and the humanities and you'll see what I mean.

It has inspired to me start a project. I think I am going to do a simple botanical survey of the street I live on.
I have a fondness for maples. I love their big broad leaves and strong urbane trunks. Maples are fun to climb and perfect to sit under and they make the prettiest songs when the wind blows through them.I was in Evanston recently and noticed how plentiful they are and then noticed that they start to thin out further south and are replaced by oaks and ginkos and...catalpas I think... and some other thin leaf trees I can't identify.

I figure what I will do is get a good book about deciduous trees, learn to spot them, then set down a space, then count how many of each type of tree is on my street in Uptown and then who knows, go from there. 
And then. Well then I will know.

And it will bring me a little closer to those trees. And that's all I really want I guess. Just to get a little closer to them.

NOTE FROM THE RUCKUS: Common Hatred is running Fri.-Sun. evenings at 8pm at The Side Project Theatre through July 22nd. To reserve tickets, please visit Brown Paper Tickets.