I am sitting in the café in the back of the best bookstore in Seattle and this feels like choosing writing. I went for a two-hour walk this morning and this feels like choosing writing. On my way into the café, I stopped at the writers’ section and picked up Mary Karr’s book on writing memoir and this feels like choosing writing. I am going to be a consultant again, which will give me more time and keep me close to my path and this feels like writing is my choice.
Today on my walk I could feel those creeping in. The whatif’s. I walked until I found the giant evergreen, the one deep in the bank of Schmitz Preserve Park. I thought the tree was a redwood, which made me happy because of Cali camp and also because I googled redwood trees, which I did because last weekend I was visiting my friend Ravyn Stanfield for tea and she is reading a book called “Steal Like an Artist,” which says google everything. In the last few days I have googled: female ejaculation (do we have a word that is our own?), the Mercator vs. Gall-Peters projections (colonial and usual map vs accurate, check it out), Polar Plunge Seattle 2016, David Bowie (about ten songs) Tango classes and Sequoiodeae—the redwood tree.
The redwood tree shares the same chromosomal pattern with amphibians. Huzzah! (I need a frog theme song. And don’t say the Axolotl song, which is awesome, and contains the words "Metamorphic goo," but is nevertheless too filled with regret. Taking suggestions.)
Anyway. Redwoods and amphibians and ferns are polyploidal. Say it out loud. It feels like kissing. Polyploidal means more than two sets of chromosomes. I haven’t grocked how having three or more per chromosome is an evolutionary strategy and why this wild magic thread weaves through the warp of coastal forests, but I’m going to find out. And/or ask my scientist friends.
But the big tree isn’t a redwood. It’s a western red cedar. Which I also love! But I’ve been imagining redwood energy and also telling people that my new boyfriend is a redwood…
But the redwood foliage that fooled me in the half dark the last times I’ve visited, well.. it’s coming from the smaller tree that is reaching sideways for it’s own light. It’s reaching right over the trail; there is a patch, bare of bark, that shines like a ruby.
So, I opened my heart to that. Then, I came home and declined to serve on the financial review committee for the PTSA board because even though I care and I want to contribute, I choose writing.