Wednesday, April 4, 2012


my A to Z - every day of the challenge I will find a word by flinging my finger into my American Heritage Dictionary and then riff on it. The posts may be essays or poems or stories or memories. Who knows what will happen when we give Serendipity her wanton way?

Dendriform - a lovely word! First it freaked me out and I thought I would really have to cheat but no!

dendriform - adj. Having the characteristic form or structure of a tree

The number one prescription I give all my clients (well all those who live where there are trees, I do have a couple of desert dwellers who can't accomplish this) is to walk in trees, preferably by themselves or with a well-behaved dog. If a person is suffering from depression, from anxiety, from a chronic and persistent feeling of 'not okay' then I suggest walking daily in amongst trees will be helpful. If they are suffering from writers' block, from insufficient love, from too much muchness, or from a sudden attack of the icks - walk amongst trees. And why you may well ask?
Trees are good. They are naturals at the practice of tonglen (a Buddhist practice of taking in the sad, mad, wounded, and breathing out the good clear sense of okayness). They suck up our miasma and give us good clean air. The dendriform is embedded in all of us as a symbol of refuge, of succor. When your heart is breaking go to the trees. They don't say much but they let you know that you are accepted - they recognize you as part of them. Their lack of frenzy and general quietude engenders peace in our own fast-paced selves. They really no how to just be. Sit up against one - lean back, breath in their breath - the breath so sweet and pure that it feels like love.
When you feel knocked about by life's vicissitudes remember the tree pose in yoga. Let your roots grow long into the earth, reach your arms up to embrace the sky, the light, and just be. You can do it.


C.M.Brown said...

Just dropping in from Insecure writer's Club, and the A-Z Challenge, nice to meet you.


baygirl32 said...

what an interesting word - I'm going to try and sneak it into a conversation today

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - What good advice you give about trees! They are a promise that life continues, go on and can even be good. I love the symbiosis too between trees and birds and trees and insects. A reminder of the web that holds us all...

Bish Denham said...

I admit it, I'm a tree hugger and former tree climber. I've been in love with trees for a looooong time.

Dendriform... I though at first it might be a type of dandruff. :)

Erin M. Hartshorn said...

I knew what dendriform meant. I love your take on it -- it reminds me of the comic "Rose is Rose." She has her "Let it Be" tree that she leans against until everything feels all right again.


Clarissa Draper said...

I've never heard of that word but it's such a cool idea. So many reasons why remembering trees is good.

Gina said...

I'm back and I still can't get over your really challenging a to z challenge. Vary creative you are and I love how you turned dendriform into a nice piece of advise. This actually works perfect with the IWSG, too!

Happy D-day!
From Diary of a Writer in Progress

Jarm Del Boccio said...

So that's why nerve connections are called dendrites...I've learned something today. Thanks, Jan!
Enjoy the challenge...I, too, love trees.

JoyfulJ said...

Hi Jan!
Great idea using the dictionary!!
this is my first challenge and I'm just writing on subjects that really interest me, whether they go together or not, I was worried about being able to finish if I limited my options more then they were limited...I think next year I'll pick some kind of theme.

Good luck on the rest of your Challenge!!!