Friday, February 22, 2013

The Bios Urn. Or, Zomtree!


Envisioned by Martin Azua, the Bios Urn is a completely biodegradable urn that contains a single tree seed. When planted, the tree seed is nourished by and absorbs the nutrients from the ashes. The urn is made from coconut shell and contains compacted peat and cellulose. The ashes are mixed with this, and the seed placed inside. You could select which specific type of tree you'd like to grow. As many have been asking "which would you prefer; leaving behind a tree or a tombstone?"

There are some questions about what happens if the seed doesn't grow, and I don't see why a Lao person wouldn't consider just growing a whole forest from many sets of one's ashes. Especially fitting penance for a writer who's used up so many trees in a lifetime to make their books.

As a horror writer, it does make me think of the old necromancer t-shirt I came across some time back, "Reduce, Reuse, Reanimate," and this may be as close as many of us get in the future. But still, there are some fascinating possibilities here, creatively speaking. I'm fascinated by this even more than the time we used the ashes of Mark Gruenwald to make ink for a special edition of his book, Squadron Supreme, the fireworks of Hunter S. Thompson, or being pressed into diamonds  Or that one Australian woman who reputedly had her love's ashes inserted into her breast implants so he would always be close to her heart.

Bur ultimately, perhaps we could come back as an edible fruit tree until we're turned into a book about recycling. The possibilities are really interesting from here. Could you become a whole forest of possibilities? A set of beams for another poet's home. A door in a wat lao. A set of lincoln logs for your great-great-great-grandchild. A bridge across an old river before the end of the world.

I would particularly find it interesting if, over time, one's family and village worked together to build a living bridge from the tree roots, such as the living bridges of Cherrapunji in India. I hope these get declared a UN World Heritage Site one day.

No comments: