The Door is Alive came to be when I was going out of our tiny laundry room, and I accidentally hit the surface of the door that separated the laundry room and kitchen. I said sorry, just as how I always did when I hit an inanimate object. That’s when the idea sprouted. What if the door were alive? What if it were growing? What if it won’t fit anymore in its frame/jamb? I remember hurrying to sit on the dining table and write the idea down before it escaped. From its first draft, my friend and editor KB went all out to bring the message forward. I’m so overly thankful that I’m working on this with her! (Also, please check out her brainchild Bookbed too and join to make the Philippines a #ReadingNation!)
Here’s a tidbit too! The initial title was “The Door that doesn’t fit anymore,” but KB (who is the editor I’m collaborating with on Tiny Tutubi) and I agreed with “The Door is Alive” instead as it was more compact.
Trees give so much to us. So much is an understatement.
(Hello, oxygen! Hello, food! Hello, shade! Hello, homes of birds, insects, and other animals! Hello, protection from floods and erosion! Hello, wood!)
Besides these necessities, it also gives us paper!
As an artist, paper is so important.
As an avid reader, physical books are too.
Through this Tiny Tutubi story, I hope that we can treasure our forests (collectively) and our trees (individually). We need them as they are and with what they can produce for us in our daily lives, our hobbies, and our professions. The next time our hands touch a wooden surface or material, may we pause just a moment, feel the life that was once there, and then think about ways on how we can help sustain our trees in our own tiny ways.
We can join organisations which hold planting activities and seminars, read up on books like Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree or Richard Powers’ The Overstory (I’ve yet to read this!), initiate in our respective companies to go paperless, use scratch paper in the office if the document doesn’t call for printing, recycle old newspapers and use them for art or for wrappers, and even make handmade paper. For multimedia artists, before taking out the pencils, paints, and papers, we can determine first if a certain artwork can be drawn digitally. Initially, I wanted to draw Tiny Tutubi stories on recycled Kraft paper, but I realised that it may be less costly if I just opted to draw digitally. There’s a downside; electricity was used, of course. 🙁 But then, it boils down to using only what you need to come up with the output. I try to be more mindful every time I open the Internet and the computer.
Like the man in The Door is Alive, may we see trees as our friends, may we acknowledge and appreciate even more the things that they give to us, and may we do our part to be responsible stewards.
There is no such thing as dead trees.
For they give us life.