Monday, April 30, 2012

Bounce upon a Rhyme

....there was a woman who loved people so much, she decided they deserved better air and a finer life so she started collecting seeds.

This was publicised.

Everywhere then in time and after much conversation-inspiration throughout the land and across the world where possible locals set up seed collecting depots in houses, barns, shops, bus shelters, sculpture gardens, tea houses, temples, shrines, churches, places of meditation, schools and shipyards, plus there were more places, but to list them all could take days and to tell this story, we need to be more succinct.

The seeds were all for trees.

Evergreen tree on shoreline of Huia Beach Aotearoa New Zealand April 2012

To replace the world's trees was their aim, all the many trees lost to building, fires, fuel, disease, cleared land for farming, trees which had gone to make furniture, paper, log cabins, the soles of fashion shoes, pencils and food, because some trees are edible. Trees had gone for many more reasons than anyone could list in a day probably but again, here in the shade of this wooden house where we are writing this (our community collection of personalities and ideas working away), we need to be certain not to go on too much about any one thing at a time. (Well, we may try.  This is an effort since we are a little wonky lately due to falling in love - somee of us - and also, it's winter so some are rather slowed down, but then others are often odd in any case, just being human, however we think admitting we're not perfect could be more helpful than not so)....

(Half the world's trees have disappeared since homo sapiens arrived on Earth and started using them for this and that, shelters, fires, boats, rolling statues upon, making wheels for carts, making paper)....

Yes, o yes, back to the story. Here it is, look I found it in this potting table drawer.

The woman's name was Xylona, which means 'from the forest' in Greek. (It had previously been something else but she changed it). She liked how her new name sounded a little like Xylophone, she liked music and also it started with an X, which she thought could be a kiss, and then too like the X people used when they signed their mark and not their name, before many people could read or write. (Perhaps some people still do this)? In any case, Xylona liked the idea of her name offering a kiss to people every time they saw it and also, it reminding them of the basic way anyone could show they believed in something, by simply making a mark to prove they agreed, a simple cross, like a cross-stitch or a couple of sticks laid over each other, or a plain barrier too, a way to close something off for privacy or care. Xylona was sure she'd seen some gates which looked like that.

Gates open and close. They're useful and decorative. Xylona wondered if she could make a gate that looked like a tree, to inspire people to think about them with more practical concerns? She googled tree gate and found lots of great ideas.

Besides that frippery and sideline, she wanted to encourage people to take the seeds which suited their properties or places they wanted to plant, then to get moving on propagating the seeds and growing trees.

Xylona made up songs about growing trees - she started with notes like this, to remind herself that people would find them easier to recall when she made them into songs if they had rhymes then too -

Plant seeds in loamy, rich mix if the tree is a forest or bushland specimen,
for other trees by the shore or in high country potting soil's lighter, not so dense.
Seeds need different tending according to where they're going to grow then,
some suit shade, some love hillsides, others like open country or to be a fence.

Xylona found the subject so enormous she often had to lie down for a rest, or take a break and do other work, because her brain got tired and her dreams went wild, they ran off and hid from her.

Collage and painting by Raewyn Alexander for Tiny Titles presentation (soon at Kraftbomb)

People Who Help, (The PWH) said they could also just ask folk to buy trees from a nursery, or to take up seedlings to replant which had sprouted in gardens and which were not wanted. Some trees dropped their seeds, or they blew away to places nearby and the seeds sprouted after wintering, so springtime revealed a host of seedlings under many trees, world-wide. Or others sprouted year long after rain usually, locals just needed to keep an eye out for them. The seedlings needed transplanting, usually to grow well away from the parent tree, this was often best done in cooler or damp weather.

The PWH also said she needed to make sure people understood the trees always had to be planted where their roots would not lift footpaths, where they would not mess up pipes or underground wires and where they did not block sunlight from houses and buildings which needed light. There were some miniature trees available, especially for people with only small gardens or balconies to grow things on.  Even planting just one tree was a fine effort. A bonsai could also be trained to grow and suit even the smallest apartment.

'Asking experts for advice about trees is a great approach. Talk changes things,' said the PWH.

Xylona agreed those were excellent ideas.

So besides the seed-depot places where people could collect seeds if they wanted, or could buy seeds in some places, they also set up information areas with people there at times to answer questions and at other times, printed materials on recycled paper about how to care for and plant trees, or online addresses to look up advice, like this - in each local. Soon the PWH and Xylona were an organisation, they never did get round to having a name, they were just the local community.

Local communities are everywhere.

People get to know each other all the time.

Xylona went on a tour of the world in a sailing boat powered with solar panels and wind. The PWH and Xylona all recycled their waste at every port and planted trees along the way, too.

In one place Xylona made a speech when someone asked her to, and she said, 'Helping each other out is a fine thing and tree planting can usually make life much better. It's as simple as that. Trees provide shade, fruit, leaves for cooking with or making things, flowers, shelter from wind and rain, they stop erosion on hillsides and they encourage birds and insects into an area which keeps the land and so on alive.

Trees also soak up carbon which people make with their cars and their industries, with their breathing out, then the trees provide people with oxygen so people stay alive. Trees are the lungs of the world, we need as many of them as possible even in places where you think there are enough trees, we need more t-t-trees.' She got a bit tongue-tied there and laughed, since she'd said trees so many times. The audience also laughed. It was a happy occasion.

Gen when carrying her son, reaching up to a tree by the Tamaki Makaurau Auckland Town Hall

'A tree is also one of the loveliest things on Earth, it is as marvellous as a poem, some say it is better than poetry.'

And then Xylona sailed back home with PWH, all over the briny blue ocean through dips and storms and conversations, some disagreements but not many because they'd started out well and finished well, too. Now they're planting more trees in places which need them, like South Australia, and they recommend you do this as well.  That's because giving to others is essential for happiness.

The recipe for happiness is to have firstly, lots of sensual pleasures like good, plain, healthy food, comfortable, well-made clothes you like to wear, staying clean and enjoying good views, balmy air, loveliness and good music, a safe, warm place to live, a decent place to work, etc., that's what we need the most of, to be happy. That's the bottom of the pyramid of happiness and the biggest.

Next, we need goals and aims, intellectual pursuits, planning, those kinds of things, and we need to achieve some goals and aims, to get where we want to go. We need those to be not quite as much time spent on them as the first things. The aims and goals, our thinking of what to do and getting there, and so on are the middle of the pyramid of happiness. They are the second biggest area of life.

Lastly, to complete happiness we need to give to others when we have the rest sorted out. Giving to others is the least we need to do, not the most, if we find we are giving too much then we need to go back to caring for our own welfare and happiness with sensual delights and making for those goals and aims in life again, achieving those. Planting one tree once in a while, or presenting a tree to someone could be a way of giving to others, surely? It could be how to achieve a truly happy life.


Our Bainie graduated with his degree in property, ooo, on the second tier there.

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