The above three drawings were done June 12 2105. I had a group for a small workshop with these Chestnut trees. Tree (A) and Tree ( B) I had worked with the year before. See below.
With a small group of three other women I had introduced to my tree work the evening before , we began to connect with a tree of our choice from amongst a group of ( five hundred plus years old) Sweet Chestnut trees in Greenwich Park. We all spent 30 minutes with a tree of choice and then remet to look together at what had emerged on paper.
I returned this year to work with this remarkable tree. I had a group with me. There were some very important themes that presented themselves in relation to new social communication and agreements. In particular there was a division in the group that had a strong emotional charge around the question of whether or not photographs would be taken, if, when , how and of who. This theme presented ( humorously) again when we were sharing our conversations in a talking circle format and a man barged in unaware of the quality of our circle and at one point he asked to take a photo of us with the tree! Another tree joke! How will we navigate this realm of image making? A new social agreement required?
I was invited to go with a small group ( See the wikipedia page and the legend that includes the signing of the Magna Carta and the first meeting of Anne Bolelyn and Henry VIII) to meet with the tree that was present at the signing of the Magna Carta. The other members of the group had been part of an international meeting in July 2012 at Emerson College in England. We had traveled together at that time to Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Avebury. On that trip I began the tree conversation work in earnest, meeting some exceptional trees including Magog in Glastonbury and the four copper beech trees at Avebury.
In August 2014 I arrived in Jarna, Sweden for the 4th biannual international meeting of LifeNet. This was my second visit to Jarna that is home to 40 Anthroposophical initiatives! There is the kulture hall, biodynamic farms/training, Waldorf schools and there is a program called the Youth Initiative Program that my son had attended and which prompted my first visit in 2011.
I returned to this willow tree May 2015. Sitting with a friend and author we spoke about Shakespeare’s the Tempest. Freeing Ariel, a spirit trapped in a tree! And also she introduced me to a book by Iain McGilchrist called the Master and his Emissary. This is a turning point for me to examine the duality of left and right hemispheres. I see now that the tree drawings work to bridge these two polarized aspects of human experience. The rational, answer based, known, linear, information based aspect and the cyclical, holistic, question based, artistic aspect! In these two drawings I see geometry, mathematical imagery and there are also two circles intersecting ( the vessica piscis or mandorla a sacred image for the third principle that balances and relates the polarities of left and right!)
I was living in the house of a dear friend. My life was in transition and I was grateful to have a place to be during the harsh winter months. Also living occasionally in the same house was a gentleman, a retired professor of Physics. As we both went about our daily lives our paths crossed and conversations took place. It was interesting and lively. Eventually, after about five months having established a friendship he asked to see my tree conversations.
I was invited to lead a workshop by the Toronto branch of the Anthroposophical society . I asked the Trees in Queen’s Park permission to bring my group to them. This is the report written by one of the organizers Grant Davis. I have been returning to the trees there and will scan and post those conversations in the near future.
Report by participant Grant Davis
On Saturday, June 7 2015, Elyse Pomeranz presented a workshop in Queens Park to a group of Branch members and friends. The event was organized with the support of Vivien Carrady. We were a cheery group of about a dozen including a child who likes to sing to trees, some adults who already have connections to trees , and some for whom this was quite new. Following a round of introductions, with Elyse’s direction, we split into smaller groups around three of the oldest trees in Queen’s Park. I led my group through David Spangler’s Standing Meditation as a warm up as it seemed very related. The groups then greeted the trees , following Elyse’s recommendation that we do this with our backs to them. Then , as we sat there, using the paper, paint sticks and water pens, we allowed images to come to us.
My experience was an immediate response from the tree. “Look down, below the ground. Turn your Standing message into UNDERstanding!” I received the impression of a large area of interest below the trunk (UNDER ground) and extending in all directions. I started to draw a person with branching hands and feet. Then I turned it 180 degrees and drew the ground level. The tree has its head in the ground! Steiner told us this and now the tree was telling me too.
This this space underground there is activity and communication. It became clearer during our gathering at the end where we shared our pictures and experiences. A slip of the tongue by another participant who said “soil” when she meant to say “soul” lead me to the realization that the soil ( underground) may be the area where the (group) souls of the trees are active. I was also pointed to a struggling little sapling that I now hold in my thoughts each morning. I hope to see some healthy growth when I next visit it.
This was quite an enriching experience for this “tree hugger” and I think for many of the participants. Thank you Elyse!
I was able to return quite often to visit the plane tree in Brunswick Square (Time Out: The Great Trees of London pp24-28) which was just two blocks away from the apartment I rented for May 2014.I visited many times either with my sweetheart, once with a good friend from Sweden who was visiting and also by myself.Read more
I was on my way to Brockwell Park in London, where inside a walled garden in a public park ( where but in London would you find a walled garden inside a public park?) was a teaching apiary. It was possible to observe the beekeepers and the hives through a plexiglass barrier. One beekeeper, the master beekeeper was demonstrating procedures to apprentice beekeepers. I was watching carefully, a bit astonished, never having seen people in suits opening hives and handling them so brusquely. I had been trained and worked with hives without using a beesuit.Read more
Dendrites. Synapses. Axons…These are ways to describe different attributes of nerves. As a child I looked at hundreds of projected slide images of these while my father- a neuroscientist “practiced” some of his lectures on me. They are beautiful to look at – dendrites look just like trees. In fact the word dendrite means “of, or pertaining to, a tree”.
I arrived in Spain. I was following my dream to learn copper etching. I would study every day for five days with a Danish printmaker in her studio Mijas.
I was met at the airport by an Ex-Pat American. As we drove towards Mijas what I noticed immediately were the Trees! In the round- abouts the city had transplanted mature olive trees. Each day I was in the studio for five hours and was free for the rest of the day. I began walking around town and towards the outskirts in search of trees to work with. I was rewarded with encounters with many mature trees of varieties that are unique to Southern regions.