Red Chairs, Green Heart

Photo via Jim Pennie

“These chairs were laid out for a wedding in 1939 in Poland. The wedding was abandoned, and so were the chairs due to the German invasion. They were found again after the war with the trees growing through them. Every year they are repainted.” — Jim Pennie

And the trees decided that they would celebrate the wedding (that wasn’t) in their own way and they would commemorate it with verdure and sway. They would hold the empty chairs in their rough arms, would dance with the wind, drink champagne rain and eat rich chocolate-earth cake frosted with fern icing sprinkled with flower petals.

They kept their word and when the couple returned so many years later they were saddened and gladdened at the same time to see each guest’s chair entwined with living tree, a rare place reserved in the seat of the dark forest’s heart.

It was then that the tradition of painting the chairs began. They paint them every year, red as pomegranate seeds, red as a bride’s hot cheeks, red as blood and the hearts (literal and metaphorical) that blood always seeks like the river it is continuously serpentining to the sea.

It is said that the wind has written his name on every chair and that those who were meant to sit in them hear stories whispered personally to them, when Monsieur wind bestirs and visits them. — Annette Marie Smith