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Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning

A Tree in Brooklyn–Dressed for Winter



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Sometime in the fall, some one or some others decorated a tree on the campus of Pratt Institute. The only sign of identification is a white piece of marble-like stone propped up on legs of wood with the words “Celebration of Life” etched in script. The dressing of patches of yarn around the tree trunk stretches up to the three major branches. Like Joseph’s coat of many colors, the fragments are of many colored threads and stitched in multiple styles, crocheted of fancy and plain and knitted of elaborate cables and the simple knit and pearl. One piece was once part of someone’s beautiful sky-blue cable-knit sweater. All the separate parts are woven together by other threads of yarn in various weights and colors. At least twenty-four distinct colors and as many stitches are in this patchwork quilt of a blanket that encircles the tree. Visible from a main walkway, the dressed tree has been a welcome sight in what has been a long winter. With the winds of approaching spring, the threads are becoming loose and parts of the whole are beginning to fray.

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Over winter the intervention that transformed the tree brought dreams of a lovely mosaic of differences extended beyond the branches to encompass a wide net of many others supported by the tree’s protective roots.

 

— Gayle Rodda Kurtz, Managing Editor

 

 

Photos by author.

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3 Comments to “A Tree in Brooklyn–Dressed for Winter”

  1. Daniel D'Arezzo says:

    I have seen trees in Japan wrapped like mummies during the winter months to help them endure the cold. But the wraps come off in spring. I wonder if these wrappings, pretty as they are, shouldn’t also come off now that it’s spring.

  2. Gayle Kurtz says:

    Thanks, Daniel, for the information about Japanese trees! Very interesting. We’ll see if the wrappings are taken off.

  3. Dear Daniel,
    You will be interested to know that, indeed, the wrappings have been removed! I wonder if the anonymous artist/artists were following the Japanese tradition. I do miss them but we should have a show of cherry blossoms soon.
    Gayle

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