Something opens our wings. Something
makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us:
We taste only sacredness.
William Guion once was told that the way to make more powerful and personal photographs was to find something he loves and to photograph it—over and over and over. And that he did, turning his passion for the oldest oaks of the Gulf South into the pages of Heartwood, Meditations on Southern Oaks. Consisting simply of Guion’s magical and moving images, with each one complemented by an inspirational verse of the 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, Heartwood goes beyond any intention of the author of raising awareness for the importance of old, historic trees in our lives.
“I found myself inexplicably drawn to the oaks,” Guion writes. “In the years that I have observed the patient lives of the oaks, sat on their roots, walked under their arched alleyways, and recorded their many moods on film, they have taught me how to listen more with my third ear. At the same time, a growing compassion toward all life has taken root in my heart.”
Here in the northeast, the classic White Oak and the Northern Red Oak may appear diminutive in comparison to Guion’s Southern live oak species with its long limbs that bend low to the ground. Nonetheless, they are a gift to be treasured. Consider their presence, their furrowed and ancient limbs. Breathe in their inexorable essence.