Dangerous Compassions

elm dance

“You look like you’re doing the elm dance,” Ming said.

“Elm dance?” I asked.  “What’s that?”

“Elm dance!” he said, moving his arms in the air like I was.

“I don’t know what an elm tree looks like,” I said.  “Is this an elm tree?”

We were at the park.  I pointed to the tree right by us that I didn’t know what it was.  It had fresh, tender, bright green leaves and matching catkins.

“It’s a peace thing.  Joanna Macy,” he said.

“Oh, so if I did the elm dance, I would be a better hippie?” I asked.

“Yeah!” Ming said.  Like I need to be a better hippie!

by the water

“Is the tree planted by the water an elm?  Peace tree?  You know–Just like the tree, that’s planted by the water, we shall not be–”

I couldn’t think of the word.  I backed up and re-sang it, to try to find the word.

“Moved,” Ming offered.

“Oh, yeah!” I said.

“Which makes no sense,” Ming said.

“Yeah, but Jesus said it.  So it has to make sense,” I said.*

“Trees planted by the water are likely to be moved!” Ming said.

“Oh, the river can wear away the earth on the bank.  So the tree can go–plump!  Right into the water.  But you mean…cut down to make room for a condo complex?”


“We should burn it down.”

“I don’t think Jesus said to burn down the condos,” Ming said.

“Yeah, they didn’t have that word, back then?  But you know Jesus would have opposed Gentilefication.”

The whole point of my telling you this story was that word I thought you should know.  You’re welcome.  Thank you for coming.  Have a spice day.

  • I was mistaken–it’s from Jeremiah.  Old testament.  PS, please don’t get biblehub and prnhub mixed up.  You’re welcome for that too.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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