a shift of view yields a ready-made tree trunk chair

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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