This story about the talking wounded hickory tree branch is making a zig-zag up into the meta-sphere, becoming a story about boundaries.
I work near a tree. There was a snow storm. A branch bent. I made a decision based on my imagination. I asked myself, "Leave the branch or cut it down?" Such a choice exposes a worldview. 'Normally' we remove downed branches. There are plenty of logical and rationally justifiable assertions to support that decision. Unarguable assertions. Undeniable assertions. Such as: "it is much safer to cut down the damn branch" or "responsible tree maintenance says you should take it down to prevent infestation" or even "it doesn't look right."
I guess what I have is a 'special needs' branch. When I chose to keep it, I became its defender. My logic is turned against me when they say to me, "Don't you think that branch really needs to come down?" Or "What are you going to do with that branch?" It's mine now to protect.
How did I become attached to this branch? How am I so quickly entangled? How can I get so connected to a tree that there is physical discomfort when it changes? Does my accepting something as my responsibility somehow join me together with that thing; and I mean joined in ways other than words? Is it becoming part of me? And what parts exactly are we saying get joined? Some subtle body extension? Some phantom limb? I keep asking, does the self really end at the skin?