Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

While walking in the park across the way, I passed a tree stump left behind after Hurricane Sandy. Overwhelmed with fallen trees, the Parks Department had done their best to remove the huge tree bodies with chain saws that struggled against massive trunks; the cuts were often roughly-made or incomplete like this one: a tusk was left protruding from the akimbo trunk.  I’d walked by it dozens of times and never seen the possibility that had been right in front of me all the time. I had only to turn our head at an angle to see, ready-made, a chair.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

It got me wishing I had, and knew how to use, a powerful chain saw and winch to set the massive chair upright, to be sat in by passersby.

But even more than that it made me realize how much writing ‘improvised life’ has made me see differently. Improvising IS a practice. The more I practice, even by simply keeping the idea in the back of my mind, the more I find myself “shifting” my view and seeing possibilities that lay hidden in the moment.

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2 replies on “a shift of view yields a ready-made tree trunk chair

  1. Cool! I recently purchased my first home, and I have a perfect Nature Made chair in my back yard! I need to made the top of the trunk level, then I want to put a planter of some sort in it. The trunk part will be the back of my chair. This trunk is also at an angle because it fell over and the main tree part was removed. There are two very large root pieces that extend ourward and are somewhat level. I will remove the bits of bark remaining, sand it down a bit, then seal it. I plan on putting some sort of mulch all around my chair tree. I can see it in my mind, I just need to make it so.

  2. Thank you for your dreamy riff, which sounds LOVELY. And especially for the last line: I can see it in my mind, I just need to make it so.

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