RED TREES PRAYER BOOK ©2004 Edition of 18
Presented as a prayerbook with a poem, The Courage of Trees, enclosed among Red Trees fabric and responding to reproductions
of the Red Trees shrouds. The 8.5"x 5.5"x 1" book is foiled stamp on the front and contains a bookmark tucked between the 33 pages.
It is housed in a matching 9.5"x 6.5"x 2" linen box. To see inside this book visit the
THE COURAGE OF TREES
All words stem from trees.
My name is Lee. In Sri Lanka my name means wood.
I fell to earth. I had not a choice as to where.
I did not know what historical moments I was to witness.
Before wood my name expressed the nautical, moving water and warmth started my life.
The position of the sun gave me direction, the moon told me secrets.
I was asked to remember my beginning.
(Such a difficult task),
I stood in a sea of many together. Our hands touching created a lace canopy.
Our feet, tangled gently, helped us not to fall. Such intimacy causes compassion and annoyance.
We grew up and we grew down. We saw light and felt dark.
(The stairway that you hear of)
While growing, there were many close calls to my life and how I was to be.
Sometimes drought came and I would wonder how to quench my thirst.
Rolling sweat of amber tears, those future jewels of elder sun, bore trails down my youthful body.
(I wanted to die, but did not know how)
And erosion that moves the earth affected me.
I got bitter cold and chapped by the shifting plates of rock and churning crust.
The skin of my roots became so sensitive that pain belonging to others seeped in.
(I knew how to die, but found it not right)
I was trampled upon many times, bent and pressed down. I did not stay.
I rose up, looking pathetic, but, this is what I am to do.
I saw slashing and burning, some trees began to cry and never stopped.
(Don't tell me you had not noticed)
To many this very nature is a threat. The response is controlling and shortsighted.
Tempting branches are snapped off as a belonging.
Collections are hidden under the dense pillows of those that continue in sleep.
(Sad, unwise yet true)
Others have plunged knives and metal teeth into myriads of fleshy torsos. They did not hear the screaming.
I yelled out the secrets of the moon, yet, they only heard their own laughter and
applause as they took parts of me and moved others out of the way.
(Somehow we find purpose from needless battles)
A dragon, snake or lizard would come to aid me and for this we all confirmed a truth about our origin.
A truth that is never to change and soon will be accepted by more than a few.
There is still time for conversion.
(you sense this)
Neglect traveled to many places in many forms, but, I am not discouraged.
We so determinedly and generously nurture with shade.
As expected, some shiver and choke and fade from view while under our care.
Others, influenced by darkness only, are angered by an unbalanced burden and withdraw to form an illusion of life.
But, thousands (millions) benefit greatly basking in low light,
growing strong themselves and ignoring all that is seen but the days that are created.
(focus, please see in your mind)
Sometimes there are storms that spill from above. This does not terrify me.
It is our strength. the lightning taps and releases a shock to the ground.
I feel the jolts as kisses that fill me with trust and clarity in knowing the motive of the moon.
The wind whips about and tells the story of why we are here.
It is the only way to go, through dimness to where nothing is so much of something.
(Poets call it lunar knowledge)<
as my roots sliced the tight dirt, crushing rock to soften the center.
As I grew others joined me, some draped like soft laundry, others requiring effort, like a bloody animal skin hung to dry.
My bark becomes hard yet not so thick as to render me unavailable.
Many make wishes that moved me to thought. some even weep and kneel to grasp soils of our globe.
Others are blinded by their own needs, an ancient greed.
They walk with idle hands above the dust on an empty road lined with possessions.
They take my breath and curse my hollow void. I sink down and look upward to tolerate fruitless patience.
(Time is and must be so elusive)
Others, you, walk by quietly, like the silent river that I rest by.
They, you, know the secrets of the moon and have always one wish, forever.
They, you, watch the leaves, needles, cones and blossoms come and go.
We watch sunlight move deeply and see where it goes, and how all things are made, at once and together.
(So grateful you are here, aware, knowing what to do)
I was finally made wood.
I don't get scared anymore from the strange and unreasonable attachment to solid
a temporary state not worthy of burning desire. Do not be concerned.
What follows can be most amazing.
(The wind has proven this)
What follows can not be said.
(The wind has explained)
My name is still the very old word, Lee.
Somewhere the word means glade, the space between the forests,
the shelter where wood is pushed through the air and made free as the light that pardons gravity.
I stood in the middle of it all and now you don't even see me. The courage of trees is here for you to follow.
(The moon shines to remind us that it is not over)
Read other book text here.
1990 Peppers, Seeds, and Rotting Vegetables
1996 What I painted when I could not paint
2005 For the Birds
2007 Butterflies are free
2011 The Year The Permafrost Softened
WORKS ON PAPER
1997 The Chase
1998 Dismantled Sketchbooks
1999 Ragdale Series
2000-2004 Collage Art
2000-2004 Figure Drawing
2000-2005 Project Art
2000 Spinning Plates
2002 Fan Collages
2001 Screaming In Places Where I Can't Be heard
2005-2006 The Story of the Universe
2008 Buddha Was Here
2009 Life On Hold (NFS)
2010-2016 The Demandments (NFS)
1995-1998 Sectioned panels
1997-1998 White Paintings and Furry Work
1998 Red Dot Series
2001-2009 Wax, Wire, Gold, Globe, and Glass
2001 How Things Pile Up
2002 Retablos, oil on metal
2002-present Project Items
Historic-present Fane Items
1550-1560 Ancestral Figure Drawings
2006 Negative to Positive
2007-present Four walls*
2010-present Teacups for Reading Tea Leaves
2000-present: My Crates
2004 White Sands
2006 Blue Clouds
LIBRARY OF BOOKS 2000-present
Book of Days
The Ragdale Book
Box of Tears
Pocket Full of Cries
Retablos: How I Got From Here to Here
The Fane Pamphlet
Scroll of Influence
The Story of Red Trees
Red Trees History
Red Trees Chronicle
Red Trees Prayerbook
Red Trees Kakemono
Book of Leaves
Found: Journals from the future
Books of Sense
The Wedding Program
The Wedding Book
I Must Go
Book of Stairs*
The Studio Visit Playbill*
Flower Book 2*
Studio 1: Dayton and Blackhawk
Studio 2: Hubbard and House
Project scouting and on location
Works in progress
Exhibits, happenings, homes
Studio clippings and announcements
WORLD RIVERS PROJECT overview
World Rivers: Curtain
World Rivers: Participants
World Rivers: Rivers
World Rivers: Cloth
Visit the River Log
* documentation is forthcoming
This archive is a creative history spanning two decades.
The documentation is comprised of many technological
formats ranging from slides, 4x5s, photographs, and
straddles the introduction of digital formatting of the time.
The goal was to preserve images, whether high or low resolution.