Our minds process information in layers — sifting and subconciously interpreting, linking the data of perception into preexisting schema — how do we learn to talk? imitation? but how do we learn to think? A tree, standing before us and bouncing the light rays back into our eyes, perhaps resisting the press of our appendages and thereby demonstrating its matter and assumed persistence — exists on many levels as the light in our eyes and the nerve signals in our skin send information back up to our cerebral cortex — once there this information passes through a mysterious gate, out of the world of science-as-we-know-it and into the world of theory. Do we think in English? How much? The Tree before is a tree — compared to every other tree we’ve ever seen — compared to the picture of a tree we saw/read in a kindergarden primer — the Tree is its strange multiplicity of trunk and brances and leaves — but it is also a simplification, a green circle on a brown stem. We see a Tree — and we see a Treehouse. We see the Trees we played in in our childhood — thin trees in Zayde’s back yard (named by me, the Namer, the Jungle), tree I climbed on in the special kindergarden playground, A great massive canopy tree at an Arboretum – a secret fastness, a great lone tree named the Computer for our imagination games by my friend, three trees growing out of one structure at the far end of an elementary school playground, the farthest edge of the school’s authority — the tall trees that ringed that playground, blocking the road and serving as both darkness and boundary, the palm trees of Florida, the Redwoods of California — this is my personal history of trees, all summoned up and competing with the Tree I look at (which I’m not looking at, I’m in my room) — and other trees — a bad poem about a tree, learned of on Jeopardy, the Trees of Life and Knowledge in the First Garden, paper, lumberjacks, bonsai trees — all clustered around the simple data perception, crowding it out, especially as I commuicate it to you or, in this case, only pretend to see it — so even here, at the very bottom, a tree is not just a tree. The word, the thought, the concept, the sign — so much more already.
How much more so than a word like society, or love, or future.