God Speaks the Tree

“Tree I say and you know what I mean. You see one in your mind, or glance out your window and remember much needed pruning. Tree, God says, and there is one. But He doesn’t say the word tree, He says the tree itself. He needs no shortcut. He’s not merely calling one into existence, as though His voice creates. His voice is its existence. That thing in your yard, that mangy apple or towering spruce, that thing is not the referent of His word. It is His word and its referent. If He were to stop talking, it wouldn’t be there. Or do you think that its molecules and atoms and quarks are made of some mysterious self-sustaining matter that has always been and will always be, some infinite Play Doh or hydrogen, holy be its name?…Place your faith in the infinitude of matter if you like, and Chance will write the story. He’ll shuffle together the pages, words, scribbles from different languages, other people’s noses, and small bits of string, run it all through the mulcher, and spray it into your yard. Enjoy your novel.” (Nate Wilson, Notes from a Tilt-a-Whirl, p. 43-44)