つれづれの記

What if there was a 400 year old tree.

What if there was a 400 year old tree.
What would something built with wood from that tree be like?

I have those types of conversations with Mr. Takatsu, the editor for “pepita” and the new “pepita 2”.

If we are thinking about trees that somebody planted, we would have the privilege of using trees that somebody had planted 400 years ago. I almost get dizzy momentarily just thinking about the length of time that 400 years represents. Using something that is 400 years old naturally feels like it would be a “privilege”.

Without casting aside the thought of oneself and the idea that humanity is everything, I can’t imagine the thought of 400 years.

Now, imagine who would be using trees planted now by us 400 years in the future. We won’t be able to see that happen. We can only pray that they will nurture them well. And hope that they will be useful.

This quickly calms any rising arrogance in oneself.

Receive, and pass it on.

The several decade average lifespan of humans start in an instant, and then end in the next instant within a span of time that is several hundred times longer. We are living with the blessings of trees that have lived in such a longer frame of time. And there are many other such blessings.

On the one hand, we have birthed many efficient and profitable things which have improved the standard of living more than trees and rocks.

People living in cities have, at some point, become surrounded by things which have a shorter lifespan than humans. It’s convenient, but living in such surroundings have caused us to lose the feeling of “succession”.

That is the heart of the blessings we received from those much larger than ourselves. The feeling that our lives are accepted, allowed.

The flip side, feeling that our lives are controlled means that we feel like we understand everything. But ironically, feeling like we know everything feels like we aren’t running our own lives.

The trees and rocks that are in nature live much longer, and more slowly than humans.

I can’t say that wooden and stone constructs aren’t things, but their long lives predate them.

Touching those lives everyday brings new revelations.

When you have the new realization that you are being moved by something larger than yourself, it brings you to think that it isn’t your life alone. Your life begins to have value when you live it as a piece of a larger picture.

Humans are the only ones who have forgotten that.

Humans are also the only ones who can realize that.

I’m glad that our lives are so distinguished.

And at the same time so small.

Thankfully.

Takehiko Inoue

2013.09.30

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