Interpret the Picture

Friends, I saw this online, and the picture is not a big deal but the comments people were leaving about what they saw in it was a mega-Rorschach test. What do you see in the picture? What is the message it’s sending?

To me, this picture was saying that if you turn your back to the empty striving, all the hustle and bustle, and immerse yourself in reading and thinking, you will reap the greatest benefits from the tree of life.

But there were completely different interpretations. Somebody said it was about how the lazy guy on top reaps all the benefits while others work to enrich him.

Someone else said it’s about nobody wanting to take care of nature, hastening a climate disaster. Another person thought it was a commentary on social stratification.

Truly, we all bring ourselves to every text we encounter.

29 thoughts on “Interpret the Picture

  1. What I get from this is people need life and nature. People calm down and relax when listening to the birds sing (window 1), when they work with life be it growing plants or raising their children (window 2 – note raising their kids themselves, not fostering them out to be raised by others convenient or not.) The flowers in their beauty give people happiness (hidden window 1), and eating locally grown or better yet self grown fruits and vegetables gives great benefits in health, self-esteem, and mental balance ( window 3). And lastly taking a moment or an hour or so to simply relax under the shade, in the breeze, reading or watching the clouds is something special that not many people seem to realize or care about or for which is a great shame (rooftop).

    Frankly I consider medium size cities to large megalopolis to be poison, not just for the body, but for the mind and soul as well. We need to spend time outside in nature, there is a reason you feel better after doing so. Heck simply digging around in the soil when gardening is like lifting a weight off your shoulders.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just want to know what kind of tree it is: it is fruiting and flowering at the same time, which is really unusual. There is that one branch over by the flowerpot that has only flowers, no fruits. Why? And why are the stems of those flowers sticking out from the greenery, while they aren’t like that on the rest of the tree? Is it a single-branch mutation, like a witch’s broom? Did the flowerpot-holder already strip off all the fruit, and for bizarre reasons decide to take exogenous flowers and stick them onto the tree? What about the fellow with the watering-can? It’s very odd to water a tree from so high up. Is he watering the tree, or just playing a prank on someone down in the street? Perhaps there is a barking dog or yowling cat he is trying to discourage… I cannot think what the overarching message might be. It’s very confusing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There was an ornamental apple tree where I used to live that would hang onto some of its apples through the winter if not harvested. Next spring, when it would flower, you could see last year’s apples together with new flowers on its branches. I took pictures of it because it was really weird! Mind you, the apples were not edible. So, my vote is for an apple tree, although the tree in the picture is way too tall for an apple tree.

      Also, does the poor tree have enough space for its roots growing so close to two apartment buildings (that are already way too close to each other for my liking)?


    2. Methylethyl, I have to say, I love your comment 🙂 I had some of the same thoughts before I forced myself to look at it more metaphorically.


    3. I love questions like this. I saw it as a time-lapse kind of picture—the same man at the same time at different points in his life.

      But it is so much fun to jump down that rabbit hole.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. “I just want to know what kind of tree it is: it is fruiting and flowering at the same time…”

      Mango is a large tree that sometimes has both flower and fruit at the same time. Some kinds of lime do as well, though they don’t really grow taller than a single story.


      1. Mangos do get really, really tall. But the fruits grow on these long stems so that they look like giant dangly earrings. Now that I think of it, I had a Meyer lemon tree that fruited and flowered at the same time, once. Those don’t get very big though– like your lime.


  3. My interpretation is similar to William – people want and need some nature in their lives and the benefits of maintaining nature, even in urban environments, far outweigh the costs.


      1. “We are in a heat wave”

        Where I am it only got to 20 today…. at least mostly sunny, tomorrow is supposed to have rain with a high of 17, so…. I’m not so needing shade.


  4. It’s just about how everyone craves and benefits from nature, even the little bits of it that are squeezed into the city. Its a lovely, feel-good picture. I live in the country and pity city folks for their lack of contact with nature, so the picture made me feel happy on behalf of the theoretical city people who might have a tree growing out their windows, or some plants on their balconies, or whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. To me it represents the difference between the self-absorbed and the uncaring about anything that doesn’t serve (them), and those who do notice their role at nourishing and caring for things that serve them and others, even if no one else notices their effort.

    Only one person in that picture is watering. Everyone else, is benefiting in their own way, without making any effort, to care for the tree.


  6. My take was simply that people can enjoy the same thing in different ways. They are all enjoying the tree, but one is appreciating the shade, others enjoy the fruit, or listening to the birds, or looking at the flowers. The person watering is enjoying the act of caring. I guess the metaphor could be taken slightly further if one imagines it is the tree of life: we all get different things out of our lives, and that is okay.


  7. Ironically, what I got from it is that different people look at the same thing and see something completely different about it, depending on their perspective and their needs. First guy is like, “ah, shade,” next person is like “mm, fruit,” and so on.

    Looks like me and Social Dendrite saw this similarly.


  8. The first thing I notice about the picture is that it depicts a falsely romantic, optimistic view of the human race. Every single person is smiling, pleased with the tree’s offerings. There’s not a single grouch frowning because the tree is blocking the view.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Your agent should call.”

        We grouches don’t waste money on agents. Anybody with brains can freelance…


  9. Everyone is enjoying the tree in their own way. Yes, only one is watering it, but it does rain, I presume, and the watering that is needed will be of the roots, not the leaves. Their enjoyment of the tree makes the tree happy too, I am sure.


  10. I’m seeing a community existing within the cracks of a larger world, where people have very different ways of engaging with what’s at the core of that community, but lack of difference would make it so much poorer.

    Yes I v. much dig my local climbing community (I’ve started this year), why do you ask 😛


  11. One day that tree will grow so big that it’ll threaten the buildings, and it’s already well on the way …

    That’s what you get for trying to grow the tree so close to the buildings because everyone in them is too lazy to go very far away from them.

    Nobody will want it removed because it’s perceived as a common good when it’ll eventually grow to the point where it’s a common bad.

    The inevitable disaster will be blamed on the tree rather than on the short-sighted and lazy people.


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