“The Othello Tree”
The serene red and orange sky in the background set an illuminating and silhouetting effect on the tree that stood on top of the hill. Almost nobody knew it existed, and yet almost everybody had decided to name it “The Tree”. When approaching the tree from the hill’s already elevated side (from the city towards the valley), all you would see past the tree was the valley, almost eternal, and somewhere in the background you could see (if you looked hard enough) that the valley was surrounded by mountains. The hill went down only on one side, the one that went into the valley. It went down that side, past the tree, bending symmetrically at different but even parts, so that if you were coming from the city toward the valley, you felt like you were looking into God’s mouth and onto God’s tongue. The valley was shaped like a curled tongue, even on both sides, right and left. It seemed to not have an end when looking down from the city. “The Tree” stood there, on the tip of tongue, like a thumbtack. When walking towards the city and up the hill from the valley the tree simply disappeared, all you saw was the hill and behind it the giant skyscrapers. Nobody knew the tree existed, because everyone was always going up towards the city.
I first saw the tree, when I bothered to stop looking. After I had spent my entire life looking for something like the tree in the city, I found it outside of the city. I didn’t see it until started walking toward it. With the city at my back, I looked towards the valley and the tree in awe. The symmetry of the valley was mesmerizing, and I used its symmetry to approach the tree, like someone would use a parabola to find the x-axis that intercepts it evenly. Walking directly towards the tree, along the axis, kept the tree from disappearing. I walked in a line, keeping the valley in the background even on both sides. I finally approached the tree and found no footsteps. I could tell no one had seen this tree in ages.
The tree was incredibly thick and gigantic, but wire thin at the same time. It was as tall as the heavens and yet I could reach the top. It was metallic and natural. The tree held no leaves, but many branches, that held on them white and black fruit. For every white fruit on the tree the was a black fruit. There was an even number of each. The white and black fruit where connected to each other and formed sets. One set held one white and one black fruit. These two fruits were connected to each other and to the tree like a weight system. Each set had three endings. One ending connected to and lead towards the tree and the other two held the two fruits of that set. Each set spun around the branch connected to the tree. The white and the black fruit on each set were even and thus propelled the set to spin together with there equivocation. If a white fruit fell of the tree, the set it fell off would stop spinning, until a new white fruit grew on that set, of equal size to the black fruit which remained on it. Sometimes a set was connected directly to the trunk of the tree or its main branches. Sometimes more then one set was connected via a system. If this was the case, then two sets acted like a bigger set. Each set then acted like a fruit, without losing the fruit already on the set. Sometimes one set would toss part of itself to another set. This made the tree kind of like a giant machine run by perpetual and even motions.
On every fruit was a word, or an image, or an idea. Each set contained two opposing such inscriptions, one on each of its fruits. One set for instance had “pain” written down on one fruit and “pleasure” on the other. However, because the tree worked like a machine, it was not a simple correlation. At one moment pain was written on the black fruit, and pleasure on the white fruit. Then the machine spun its cycles, tossed its fruit, and did its job. If you stopped the tree again, at a random time, you could find that pain was now written on the white fruit and pleasure on the black. At any given time there was an even chance on stumbling across either phenomenon.
There was one more thing in the valley nobody saw. To see this thing you had to first gaze at the tree. When you had gazed at it for long enough your eyes were free to see this other thing which was a tall shadowy figure with a spotlight projector and projections, somewhere in the valley. He was the tree’s opposite, just like the white fruit was the opposite of the black fruit, just like pain was the opposite of pleasure, just like the left and right sides of the valley were opposites, and just like tree’s size and visibility were opposites. The tree represented truth and freedom; the figure represented lies and bondage. He stood with his back to valley looking towards the city, and lit the projector toward into the city.
It was only then, I realized the city never existed; it was just mere projection, of the shadowy figure’s deceit. Every little thing that I thought had happened to me before was just a mere slide change in the lie that the figure had made. The people inside of the city were both real and completely fake; just like the fruit on the tree was both white and black. The figure was trying to block out the sight of the tree using his projections. This made sure that only those who ignored his projections, and walked down the symmetrical axis of truth saw the tree. Likewise it seemed that the tree was putting out the figure. He seemed as afraid of it, like it should have been of him.
The shadowy figure disappeared as if he was never there, like the night disappears with the coming of sunlight. The fruit pieces stood up from their valley board bowed to me and returned back onto the tree. The people and I now stood in a giant eternal valley on all sides symmetrical. Where skyscrapers once stood now stood the other side of the valley. In the smack middle of valley was one hill with one tree. The people started asking questions and I started replying, but my answers puzzled them, for they had not come to the tree on their own. My answers, since I had looked at the tree were far more advanced the anything they were ready to hear. The people, naturally curious wanted me to explain it to them in a way they could understand.One of them took the shadow figure’s projector and asked me to use it to show them the answer in a
language they were accustomed to see. I took the projector and started to explain, while the people were
giving me their full attention. The more I explained, the harder the people looked until they looked past me
onto the projections. The harder they looked toward me the taller I got. The taller I got, the shorter the tree
got next to me. I started to become dark and shadowy, and the tree though diminishing started to bring me
discomfort with its illuminating lightness. I aimed my projector at the tree, drunk with the power I was given,
until it disappeared from my view, and behind it re-appeared the illusion of the city. The people bowed
down to me and went back into their city. They continued to work, to reproduce and to feed, and they
always continued to look for “The Tree” all of them knew existed, but nobody knew about. One day
another man walked the straight line and challenged the shadowy projectionist (me) who was dis-illuminating
the tree. He succeeded, but eventually became himself the shadow. And so, the tree, the valley and all of
humanity, kept spinning in a perfectly dualistic and symmetrical pattern, past even the end of time.