Hiking in the 1000 acre hills behind Jentel, Robyn (another resident) and I found pieces of petrified wood, which look like wood, but feel like stone. Some even have geode-like crystals on them if you look closely. They’re very deceiving. Because these look like wood, with a tawny coloring and visible wood grain, I picked them up expecting them to be light and brittle. Each time I picked up a piece, the weight it held was a surprise. It was a bit surreal, finding all of this wood on top of a treeless hill. After doing some research, Robyn informed me that those pieces of wood, if they actually surfaced there naturally, are probably close to 60 million years old. I’ve been trying to think of various metaphors for petrified wood and petrified forests (which, according to the internet, contain no standing trees, but instead look like deserts upon which old (petrified) logs have washed up like flotsam from another geologic era)–or rather, various things for which petrified wood can be a metaphor. It’s a backward metaphor. Immediately, I thought of memory, but maybe that’s too easy. I suppose there’s a way to do it right, but I’m trying to think of others. So far:
2. childhood/past eras of one’s life (so, memory, pretty much)
3. amnesia (suppressed memories?)
4. generation gaps
5. outdated technology (too easy?) In any case, I would like to walk through a field of fossilized Walkmans and VCRs, but I think that’s been done, in The Brave Little Toaster.
6. toys or keepsakes from one’s past
7. estranged family
These are really all falling into the same box, and I may be failing as a poet here. Feel free to share your thoughts/factoids about petrified wood (this is bound to be my most popular blog post ever). It’s my current point of interest. Perhaps I should visit a petrified forest myself. Anybody want to go?
Also, there are rocks up there that have lichen growing on them, but the lichen is red and orange. It looks just like rust, which was also a bit surreal to see in an area so untouched by industrial plants.
Also, the creeks and rivers around here are rising so much that the National Guard is on call or something. It’s still raining. Maybe tomorrow is the end of days. Incidentally, I’ve been writing post-apocalytptic poetry. Yes, really.