Beardy

This is a heavy stone and is therefore most likely to be from Cemetery Beach, next to Kioni, where the stones of faces are large and heavy and can resemble skulls. This stone, however, does not resemble a skull. It resembles Treebeard in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, with the piercing gaze and the beard like a ginkgo-biloba leaf. There is another magical creature here. If we take the left-hand side of the face to be a covering of bark, and the line of the mouth a branch, then we might discern a phoenix, such as Fawkes in Harry Potter, with its head upraised. The ginkgo-biloba leaf is now its tail feathers.

 

Meanwhile, in language, we know how important wood is to the Christian religion. Christ was crucified on a tree. The Cross is a deleted I, an I with a line drawn through it. He taught us in this way to subdue the ego’s selfish impulses, and to serve the other, through which we will find our own true identity. It is this submission that sets us free. Standing in one place. Learning to be patient and long-suffering, much as we may not like the treatment. For this reason, the tree gives shade, warmth, food and oxygen. It may even allow itself to be cut down. It is that sacrificial. “Tree”, which is obviously connected to “free”, is also connected to “three” – the Holy Trinity. It was Christ nailed to the tree, who came to act as a translator for us of the meaning of human life (this translation is called the Gospel). But Christ is intimately linked to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit – the Father who sent him, the Spirit who descended at Pentecost and enables us to breathe. Like the tree. Root, seed. The WOOD – Holy Trinity.

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