John Holmes

March 13th, 2010

March 13, 2010 – Reflection


In the years leading to John Holmes’ death from AIDS-related complications, John began to document various elements of his life on audiotape.  While contemplating the trials and tribulations of living, John expressed his conception that the life of a human being could be judged simply by using the analogy of a tree.   He called his idea “The Monkey Tree” and he imagined that one day it would become the title of his memoir.  It was John’s belief that the strength and endurance of a tree and its relationship to a monkey residing on its branches, is indicative of our own place in the history of the world after we are gone. 

John described a variation of his idea this way:  “Where we are in the trees is where we are in our society.  Form a tree in your mind.  A beautiful, magnificently curved oak.  Think of the lower branches and think of the upper branches as what a person has achieved.  Those that are now dead, that we write about, or we think about, in an aspect, we think about what lifestyle they had.  Without even knowing it, subconsciously, we place them somewhere in that tree.  The further you are out on each limb, the more dangerously you live.”  

It has been said that John lived life hard and fast like rock stars do; passionately and dangerously, and with casualities along the way.  Twenty two years after his death, it causes one to ponder where one might place John Holmes in The Monkey Tree.  More importantly, perhaps, where might we place ourselves? - RIP John

Comments are closed.

John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches © 2008 Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson. All Rights Reserved.
John Holmes