(Opening line of the "Divina Commedia")
In religions and myhtologies around the globe
there is talk of a giant tree, growing from
the "middle of the world" (axis mundi).
It is the Tree of Life.
Planted in the middle of these woods, the tree
becomes the path itself, leading out of the very forest,
through life and death, winter and spring, part of
the eternal circle, in which all living things move.
The forest may be dark, but it is not threatening:
light filters through the trees, signals solution, salvation.
A deer is looking at the human standing in front of the painting.
Alert. Fearless. Drawing him/her through eye contact
into the scene.
The man's torso, carved from the tree,
has a triple meaning/personality:
he is Christ
(who had to die on the cross - synonym of the tree,
the wood - to gain eternal life);
he is the God Dyonysios
(of whom it is said that he lives in trees
and makes them bear fruit -
he, too, had to die, to be reborn immortal);
and he is Man
(who is linked to all other living things through nature).
A slender, black tree reaches for
its white upside down counterpart - yin and yang?
The branches intertwine.
Where they touch, they ignite golden sparks.
The upside-down tree, also part of our universal symbolism,
unites Heaven and Earth, brings wisdom and illumination,
drawing them down to us with its roots.
Dante talks about this tree in the part "Paradiso"
of his epic poem "Divina Commedia".
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