In the soil, a tree
A quiet graphic story that evokes an inward reverie
"In the soil, a tree" is a quiet, contemplative antidote to news fatigue. It attempts to evoke the experience of a quiet, inward reverie one feels when standing outdoors and gazing at a vista; an experience most of us do not have access to during the lockdown. See the full article here.
In the story, pointedly, nothing happens. The protagonist is a Frangipani tree and the story follows ants, birds and flowers in their interactions with the tree.
Why this feels relevant in 2020
There is the sombre daily update in the news about the crisis as it is unfolding; a poignant reminder of the changing reality of our times. In contrast to the breakneck pace of this terrifying news, 'In the soil, a tree' alters the reader's pace. It slowly illustrates a moment in a time parallel to us, where things are calm. Here is another kind of news: slow and gentle, about a tree.
This story is not a naive escape from reality; it is an opportunity to take a vital breath in-between confronting the large realities around us during this pandemic.
I would like to share that I worked on this piece in a meditative way while dealing with the news of the loss of a loved one in the first few weeks of the lockdown in India. I found myself unable to process my chaos inwardly and wanting to escape to different time and space; completing this story helped in a small way.