Monday, March 20, 2006

The Eye Of The Tree


This is one of my many attempts at photography. This is a tree that sits on Pennsylvania Avenue close to Georgetown. I saw it while sitting on a bench and I had to shoot it. I have a great deal of respect for trees. This respect is mostly due to fact that it gives us oxygen, but there is something very spiritual and majestic about them. It is the African belief that some trees are a direct link to ancestors. The Marula tree, which originated in Southern Africa, is often used as an alter for the people in that region. They would approach the tree and give a gift of snuff, a powdery tobacco substance, at the base of the tree. They would then present a question/favor to their ancestors. You see, they believe that their ancestors can see God. This is why they take snuff and other gifts to the tree because they want their ancestors to speak favorably on their behalf to God . I feel that this is a beautiful way to honor ancestors (although it may conflict with some Christian beliefs and practices). If I were to practice such a ritual I would have to take some Days O Work chewing tobacco as a gift to my grandmother. She would pop me in the head for telling this if she were alive, but that would be her preference instead of snuff.

lol :) Sorry grandma.




41 comments:

Rose DesRochers said...

Wonderful photo for an attempt. I enjoyed the history.LOL

Stephen Bess said...

Rose-
Thank you. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I could almost feel my grandmother plucking me upside the head. :)

Rose DesRochers said...

That was just my hand smacking you. :)

Stephen Bess said...

Haa haa! :)
I deserve it Rose. My grandmother would come up to me when I was a teenager and whisper to me, "Go and get me some Days Work." I would instantly laugh and she would giggle and pop me. She would say, "hush, boy!" She didn't want my aunts to know. She would always give me enough for the tobacco and a candy bar for me. :)

Bougie Black Boy said...

Hmmm... I would have framed this, and called it "Nature's Glory Hole"

Stephen Bess said...

**giggling** "Nature's Glory Hole" :)
OOOhhh! Um a tell momma!

strawberries are said...

Hey Stephen you forgot something very important about the marula tree. Actually its a cardinal sin that you forgot ask wifey. Oh I guess I should say good photo or something?. Todays post read"blah blah, blah marula" When you find out what and try it, you will both understand and forgive me.

Stephen Bess said...

strawberries are-
What did I forget to add? My wife doesn't know because she said that it is something that is practiced mostly in the northern region of South Africa. The information that I got about the Marula is all from memory. It's based on a conversation that I had with older gentleman from South Africa. If there are corrections or anything please feel free to enlighten me and other readers. :)

Stephen Bess said...

Strawberries are-
Are you hatin' on my photo? :)

strawberries are said...

Repeat after me and then go out and buy some:-Amarula, the best liquor, there is. On the rocks, in ice-cream,straight up e.t.c

You will thank me. Thanks for visiting me, I need those encouraging words,and a couple sips of amarula as I stratagize my next move. Thanks.

strawberries are said...

Of course not, for me the post might as well be about amarula. Everything else takes second place.Good job on the picture!!.You know you can shorten my handle to straw or S.berries etc thats too long to type out each time.

Stephen Bess said...

s berries-
Haa haaa! lol :) I guess that I should have mentioned the amarula. I'm glad that you were encouraged today. I did learn about amarula and the buzzed elephants off of it's fruit. my wife wouldn't know anything about it. She can't handle anything stronger than Coca Cola. :)
I'll have to try amarula. I'll look for it here in the states. From here out you are "s. berries."

Tu s. Tin said...

how do you think that hole got there?

UARIDI said...

Love the photo and the hole. The boabob (spelling?) trees live for thousands of years. The Gikuyu used to sacrifice to God (Ngai) under a tree - don't know its European name.

Stephen Bess said...

tu s.tin-
I have no idea. I was thinking about that before I took the picture.

Uaridi-
I saw something about the boabob tree in my research. Wow! They live for thousands of years? That amazing. This is why I have so much respect for trees. Thanks for that info.

faith said...

Trees are quite amazing, I agree! Your picture rocks. You should enter your photo's into some amatur photo contests or something. They are really good!!!

NML said...

Thanks for teaching me something new today and well done on the pic :-) I take it the back of your head must be a bit sore ;-)

Poi said...

Hi! Nice shot..

Stephen Bess said...

faith-
Thank you. You always have such nice things to say. Stay warm in Minn. :)

nml-
It's too late. It's already sore. :)I'm glad that you were able to get something from this. I learned a great deal from the comments alone.

Poi-
Hello my long lost friend. You must be busy these days. Thanks for stopping in.

:her soledad: said...

This is a wonderful photo with beautiful history and sentiments attached. I really learned to appreciate the great power of trees after reading Patrice Malidoma Some's "Of Water and The Spirit" Check it out sometime. I think you would be changed as well.

And thanks so much for the good word over at hersoledad

Stephen Bess said...

:her soledad-
I'll have to look that book up. Thanks for the info and you're welcome. :)

tryphina said...

What? Mrs Bess is a teetotoller(sp)?? She is missing out. Yesss, Straw Amarula is up there on my list. Oooops, sorry, I just drooled on my keyboard..........

Stephen Bess said...

Tryphina-
Are you juicin' at the mouth over Amarula? lol. :)

strawberries are said...

@Tryphina-yipeeeeeee, yes amarula is drool worthy.Stephen please do let us know when you get a chance to sample it. Its actually an after dinner drink (i don't follow that rule though :D ) so The Mrs, can have a taste, over the rocks its yummy better yet, drizzle hers over ice-cream. note to self:stay calm,eye on the prize,eye on the price.

Stunuh Jay said...

Ooooh Amarula, Yummy! lip smacking good. Can't wait to go home and pop a bottle with my grandma... After all, one can't drink by oneself, and I'm still trying to change the will (this is the only drink that does her in :) )

Stephen Bess said...

s. berries-
Haa haa! It sounds like I've been really missing out. My wife told me last night that she had a bottle until guest came over. The bottle disappeared along with the guest. lol :)

stunuh-
lol! :)I can see your grandma now, "of course you can have all my ((hickup)) money!"

Miss Ahmad said...

stephen that tree reminds me of the time i spent on the east coast watching the seasons change with the trees outside of my terrace.

in winter the trees often reminded me of women, strong and bare.

in fall the hudson lined with trees in all of their fall glory were so majestic.

and ooh the magic of central park in bloom!

great post!

Stephen Bess said...

miss ahmad-
Your comment was so poetic. :)Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Mr Bess!! your friends are so "bush" :) all you had to do is make mention of a certain tree!!! Jubilation, and ululation everywhere :) "All because of a tree, a tree"

Hello Tryphina **wink**

Strawberies don't encourage Tryphina, she is already a groupie .. did I mention self-confessed-groupie? haa haa

Stunuh? is that what I think it means? Setono? heee heee

No more drooling people, here is a fresh 750ml bottle of Amarula on the rocks :)

Stephen Bess said...

Anon-
It's ok because I married a woman from the "bush." She still gets all giddy over running water. Haa haa! :) (She reads this so she'll just pop me later)

As for Tryphina,I pay her. She's my professional groupie. lol

tryphina said...

Annon.. you made me laff so loud, haa haa, thanx for the laff
Thank you ..curtsie.. thank you!

Stephen, did you know the easiest way to a woman's heart could be through a tree haa haa!!

You are still a great author **wink** shhh shhh

Brother Jero (BJ) said...

Wassup pimpin. Hey check some real African dance moves on my site.

So what you been upto lately. If you ever come to the A, holler. I could show you a spot or two.

Down here, I rule.

Stunuh Jay said...

Yeah.... As for BJ,umm....you'd be adding to issues to get bopped over the head for by the Mrs(and I'm not so sure that I wouldn't lend her my rolling pin... actually more like oluth kwuon.... can't find translation)

Stephen Bess said...

Haa haa! :) Stunuh is looking out for the Mrs. I know that she will appreciate that.

Rose DesRochers said...

What no posts today? :)

Stephen Bess said...

Rose-
I know. I could've just talked about my lunch break or something. :)

the prisoner's wife said...

beautiful image.
my grandma chews tabacco too, even though she thinks we don't know *lol*

barbie said...

Thanks Stephen. I did get to the blog after all and I'm glad I did. The tree reminded me I can exist with a hole in my soul and still be grounded. My roots (ancestors) go deep.

kathi said...

What a peaceful thought. And the remark about your grandma...thanks for the smile. :)

Stephen Bess said...

prisoner's wife-
lol! Yeah, my grandmother was very secretive about her chew, but she had a good sense of humor about it. :)

barbie-
I like that! Another person's perspective is the beauty of art. Very nice.

kathi-
I'm glad that I can make you smile. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the photo Bess. Great post, very educating.

*Georgiapeach

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