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Tree Gazer

Fall Trees From Ground

Tree Tops: by Jim Dollar Photography


It should come as no surprise to me that most of my life, I’ve been afraid of being alone.  Whenever I am alone, the shell-overlay that keeps me together starts dropping, disintegrating, and I am left with the shattered pieces of what makes up my selves, all vying to have their voices heard and their needs met.  I can remember, when I was a younger girl, getting an extreme sense of panic whenever I was alone.  Not always, though.  At times, I craved that time of sole being, connecting with nature and the world around me; connecting with what I then called “God”.  There do seem to be more parts of me that are afraid of being alone than that revel in it, though, and there is this underlying lack of being able to catch my breath that streams out from me whenever I am left to my own thoughts.  It is confusing, to even me, this frightening unknown regarding which of these thoughts, which personalities are going to come barreling through – and face forward.

It always surprises me when I meet a new one.  There are so many facets of me that are yet to be discovered.  I’m not exactly a diamond in the rough, instead, I am cut by some mysterious jewel-maker into differing reflecting sides.  These sides aren’t all symmetrical, and they aren’t all polished.  Some don’t seem to be sides at all, but little juttings-out or material that form a small ledge, or bump, off the main formation.  Often, they are sides that I’ve never seen, having equally, no idea of their existence.  In the quiet, when only my inner voices are heard, when the distractions and confusion of my outer world grow still, a small voice can sometimes make its way to the surface of us.

As I am outside doing menial chores in the crisping air of descending fall, this is just such a day, as it brings out another of us while I am taking care of the animals that make up so much of my present life.  One of those very rough-cut or jutting sides surfaces — comes forth from within me.  It begins with the changing out of the waters for the wolf-dogs.

Whenever I am using hosepipes, the smooth rubber molding sliding with a familiar fit into my smallish hand, whenever I am dipping animal foods from bags, the powdered scent of the processed bits clouding up to assault my nostrils, I am taken back to periods of time from my childhood, spent in the barns and coops and pens, yards and woods and pastures.  I see the hoses that we used on the farm when I was a child.  The animals of my memory come and take drinks.  I see the rusting metal bowls, the upside-down hubcaps, the wooden troughs.  Dogs walk through my mind’s eye and lick up the cool liquid:  Jo-Jo, the German Shepherd, Chigger, the feist, Terry, the Bulldog lapped the water as it emerged from the spigot, Sirius, the old, sick stray that I’d befriended, daily delivering water – right up to where he sat.

Water slides down from the pipe in my mind’s eye, filling to overflowing the containers, as Hogs push each other with dirty snouts.  Gathering in the ensuring mud, they jostle for the prime positions for the best fare being slopped from my father’s metal bucket.  The splash of water against the side of stainless-steel bowls calls to multi-colored, glittering yard-chickens.  Coming in an awkward run, they dip down their feathered heads, lift orange-yellow beaks to the sky as the cool well-water slides down their parched throats, and my eyes scan the grassy tufts from which they emerged, trying to decipher there the hidden nests of fresh eggs.  Cats weave and twine betwixt my legs, attempting to trip me up as I progress from one animal’s station to another.

This youthful environment provides innumerable opportunities for me to join with, and appreciate, the soul of nature.  Skip forward to the current scenes that make up my “now” life, and it is easy to see that my current environment, full of dogs and cats and woods and sun, reflects this same connection.  These similar experiences build bridges that, inadvertently, drag me back and forth across times.  Flashbacks start.  My senses are confused.  I’m not sure where or “when” I am, or who I’m connected to.  I’m not sure which of my personalities is supposed to be “facing forward”, and I may even forget who the important people in my life are.  I have lists of people who are critical to me at any given point – but the lists are rarely ever tied to any independent feeling of where they belong in time.  I depend upon outside, experiential, environmental clues for that.

I stand at the home where I reside in what you all know as the current time.   Above the enclosures for the wolfdogs tower large trees and my eyes are drawn up the length of them to stop where their branches meet the sky.  The sight of deciduous leaves and evergreen needles create a lace fabric, fractals upon fractals revealing their primordial patterns in this limitless, visual canvas.  This day, as my eyes fall upon the pattern made by the deep green of the trees against the bright blue of the sky, I morph.  I shift.  I become a thing, a beast, stopped in time — my gaze locked on that beautiful mystery of nature that must have invoked feelings in the innermost heart of those who originated our species, from the time when our newly opened eyes first ever saw the scene.

Looking up into this tapestry of nature, some primal self awakens within me.  I am drawn up, into the trees, my spirit, my very existence seeming to bond with them.  My body, on the ground, is frozen, as affixed to its spot as any rooted tree ever was.  I am immobilized – – outside of time.  Everything is stillness, and stillness is Everything.  The air blows through me, the very act of my breathing a thing of non-happening.  I am one with the earth, therefore, in flesh, I am nothing.  I am Tree Gazer.

I’m not sure what has gone on in the life of Tree Gazer.  I’m not sure why he looks at dissociation into the trees as an escape from events in this mortal plane.  He can see nothing around him; only above.  He is aware only of the fact that he is an invisible part of Earth.  Nothing can touch him, nothing can harm him; he cannot move, for he is not.

As soon as he slips into our primary train of conscious being, I know him as myself and my brother, both.  For The-Me-Who-Is-Speaking-To-You-Now remembers stepping aside, and back, letting Tree Gazer come in to become one with the beauty of the forest, to become invincible in his nothingness so that goings-on did not affect us.  The-Me-Who-Is-Speaking-To-You-Now suspects that these days were days at school, in the forest behind the playgrounds, or at the farm, past the pastures, lying atop fallen leaves on the gentle, tree-laden hills that led to the creek in our woods.  Then again, perhaps, at our Grandmother’s house, behind the old out-buildings.  These are places where our physical form was most likely lying – while Tree Gazer stopped our pain, taking us up – – to join beauty, up and away into the most majickal of places where the trees meet the sky.  Where all is well!  All is well when All is nought.

We are stuck, Tree Gazer and I, staring into the treetops, and as liquid begins escaping from the top rim of the metal washtub in the enclosure of the wolfdogs, Jupiter and Merlin, there is a part of us that is aware of what you all perceive as “now”.  There is a knocking at the door of our awareness from some unknown someone else inside who is saying, “You must re-engage with this life – for there are other living beings who need your waters, and there is a bill for it that will have to be paid, so you mayn’t stand here, staring into space like one devoid of your senses!  WAKE UP!!”

And with a sigh of resignation, deep down in our spirit, we climb our awareness up to the top, and out, and descending, falling from the Heavens, slowly, ever so reluctantly…we Awake.

Thanks to:  Jim Dollar Photography, for this beautiful representation of what Tree Gazer sees!

Posted in Dissociative Identity Disorder, My Life Today, My Personalities.

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