Pieces of wood lay on the table, having been carved by the hands of a man who had nothing to do but search for his creativity. I saw the boxes of spoons he carved, over 200 at least. Only a few were smooth and finished and usable for scooping, stirring, lifting foods from one vessel to another. He played with the grains where the centers swirled, that declared:
“Yes, once I was a tree and this is my lineage. Now that I’m reduced to being a spoon, let me remind you of how old I had grown before some man came and cut me to the ground, chipping my skin away like a scalped native, and then slicing me into lengths, just pieces of my original grand height so I am no longer that marvel I’d been, a holder of tributaries and vessels, pulling nutrients from the darkness below and taking the Sun and Air into my head-strong leaves, mixing it all as only the greatest magician can.
“I was a magician and now I’m a half-finished spoon sitting in another wooden box, made up of pieces of my brothers and sisters, sitting on a hard cement floor. Cement! Even my boxed brothers and sisters can no longer touch the Earth for if they could, we have other friends that would so kindly begin the funereal process of bringing us home, of breaking down our fibers by whatever magic they know, with fungus and insects all working their magic together that we might — just might have a proper burial, in which I, and my siblings, could feed the offspring of life.
“And yet for what — why — I wonder now, because it is a great authoritarian dictator that rules over us, who has determined our existence: where we should live, how we should live — in rows of mirrored trees, all the same age with no variety — without the voices made when the wind wiggles the wide leaves of the maples or the sharp needles of the spruce, the quaking of the aspens, joined by the rasping of errant branches rubbing against its neighbors. Yes, I am sad and hurting and I wonder is this all there is now?
“The voice of my ancestors no longer speaks its stories through the mycelium and root systems which have been plowed over, ripped to nothingness, ripped to silence and stilled forever. I am a spoon now. Only a spoon, made and designed to serve my master. Even in this box with my other broken brothers and sisters, our souls are so diminished that we stand in the same stillness as the land on which we were raised. Our voices are silent. Silent. But for the crackling of the forest fires.
“Some say this has become our battle cry. We would rather burn in the fires than suffer the continued destruction of our homes, replaced by words like sustainable forestry, though in truth it’s the jailing of our souls only to be chipped and cut and splintered and mashed to make paper to wipe our master’s ass, for paper on which they write their perceived goals and purposes with no regard for us.
“There was a time — I was young then but I remember — when people first lived and walked amongst us as one. We shared ourselves freely, giving our back for clothes or roofs, our leaves and fruit for food. Those days are no more. I am a spoon. I serve. I serve up food to feed the monster who destroyed my family.”