Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tamarind Tree

Tamarind Tree



So, I had a dream and in that dream I saw a tree, in the distance but then much closer up. The tree was green and full, short with a thick straight trunk, on the tree hung what appeared to be bread. Loaves and loaves of bread were hanging on the tree as well as some which had already dropped on the floor. When I awoke I decided to paint this odd dream and I did naming it “the Bread Tree” Ok, here is where it gets weird, months later after having given this painting or dream no thought whatsoever as far as meaning goes, I had another dream. Oh by the way that doesn’t mean people did not try to interpret the painting or dream, they have tried but it was of no consequence to me because I did not desire a meaning. To me painting it was a release, a way just to record a strange dream and I did more in a series of dreams. Anyway, I had another dream many months later, in this one I saw the tree again and heard a voice, whose, I don’t know, but the voice sad, “Silly… (Or “fool”, either one) that is not bread on that tree; it is tamarind, and poof I woke up. I remember uttering the word over and over so I would not forget. Tamarind, Tamarind…. Now for this you need a little faith and understanding, I had no idea what tamarind was, nada not one idea, all I knew was that it was used in Mexican candy, basically because a driver who I follow in NASCAR named Kevin Harvick had a car one year for one race sponsored by Pelon Pelo Rico which he raced in Mexico in 2005. Pelon Pico Rico uses tamarind pulp as its base. I guess I knew a little, that it was sweet and had pulp, so I assumed a fruit, remember that.




Ok, so not sure if you are familiar with my painting “the Bread tree” so here it is.









Notice how I painted the bread, my wife said they looked like babies as we are trying to conceive and are having trouble, she thinks that they could have symbolized children, maybe but I never gave it much thought, remember.


Now onto the interesting part, I researched the tamarind tree, not knowing what to find and when I searched, my jaw dropped, this is what I saw.




Looks like my bread doesn’t it, I thought so. Now I was freaked this never happened to me before this was psychic or psycho but it was definitely something. So I looked for more, knowing that this was much more than a coincidence, not only was a tamarind not a fruit as I thought, it was some sort of a fat bean, and yes it looks like bread, I even got the color right, orangey brown. Why did I paint my bread orange, who knows, apparently I was painting a tamarind tree all along.



Here is a pic of the tree itself




I don’t know, it looks like mine to me, so now I did need a meaning, what in the world was this supposed to mean to me? Not many people have these types of dreams, do they? Even if they did, did they then dream the more exact description later, from a disembodied voice no less? My quest continued. I make no secret that I am a spiritual guy. I believe in God and happen to understand my belief through the Christian faith. I have painted sacred paintings in the past and that quest is documented on my essay on the Sacred and the Profane on my website www.roxart.com. My first thought was that the disembodied voice was God so scoff if you must. However if you yourself believe or at least have a curiosity beyond your own understanding you will find this interesting. The tamarind, its tropical, probably was first born in Africa; think Garden of Eden, cradle of civilization Africa, got it? Ok, now, I thought it has something to do with Mexico right, the candy and all that jazz. No Mexicans just like the tart and sour taste; it comes from places like India, West Africa and the Middle East. So I typed in tamarind and fertility in our friend Google, yeah, I was influenced by my wife’s interpretation, I did find some article about a certain tribe that put a metal sheet on the tamarind tree trunk and danced around it three times to increase fertility, interesting, so it does have a baby connection is some culture. Next I typed in tamarind and God, then Jesus Christ. This is where it gets interesting. Apparently according to an Italian legend, I am Italian by the way, none other that Judas Iscariot, hung himself on a tamarind tree, as the tree was known to grow to great heights and had very stable limbs. After his death, the tree was changed, it no longer grew tall as it did, but now grew shorter, now here is the rub, on its branches it would grow fruit that looked like hanged men, I guess as a reminder of Judas’ suicide. Did you shudder, ok maybe I am being dramatic, but to me that was wild.





See this pic?




It could look like a dead man hanging, so basically it inspired another painting, it would be Judas death on the tamarind tree, but that is for later.


Ok, another story and or legend and this will kind of wrap it up.

I found an article online from a website called “ the Practice of Jesus” and as far as I can tell it’s a liturgical site, Catholic based in New Zealand, in an article from a specific reading about Exodus was this quote,



“The scriptures say - as the Hebrews have quoted here - that the manna was, "a loaf from heaven". Jesus says that the manna was not a true loaf from heaven (vv.32-33)! It has now been shown, that manna was really sweet, white syrup that drips from the tamarind tree. Jesus says that there isn't any bread like that come down from heaven! The only bread that comes from heaven is the word of love - which He is transmitting by His actions! That bread will give people new life!!”



Granted this is commentary, no where in scripture was tamarind mentioned as manna, but as far as me interpreting odd things about my dream this really summed it up, remember what I thought it was when I first saw it? Yes, bread… a bread tree, now this says that manna, the bread God gave his people in the wilderness, is thought to have been white syrup from the tamarind, interesting huh, it is to me. So, in summing up, I am still wowed by this dream, and I guess I will continue to look for the meaning behind it. Until then I will say God is good and sometimes dreams surprise you.