Monday, September 29, 2008

Conked Out

Another sunny morning so I went out to draw and take photos. I’d like to say “it was a good light” and things like that, to make me sound professional. But, to be honest, as long as it’s not pissing down I don’t really care. I just don’t like getting wet. Or cold. Or wet and cold.


I’ve still got a thing going about tree trunks. And there are some beauties in Llandaff Fields. Because I’ve only been there once before the trees and I don’t know each other, so we didn’t really chat. I just wandered around taking photos and making sketches … without so much as a by-your leave, I have to confess.

It’s the lines of the trees I like most. The elegance; the curves; the way they sometimes twist. In mythology and poetry the trees are inhabited by female personalities know as Dryads (

But trouble was brewing. Mr presence hadn’t gone unnoticed.

The trees started throwing conkers at me. Aiming for my head, they were. And a few of them hit me. Which REALLY hurt. Soon, they were raining them down on me. I literally had to run FROM cover into an open space.

It confirms to me that the trees are alive. And they are mean.

are you sure they wern't horse chestnut trees? they could have been trying to feed you!
neigh anonymous
An artist friend once told me - in a conversation around the subject of trees - of a tribe( forgotten the name of 'em and where they're located )which believes the spirits of the deceased( presumably their own deceased and not the deceased generally )lurk beneath the bark of trees. Makes sense I suppose as that's the living part, the cambium. Anyway, since she shared this fascinating tidbit of info with me, I've never quite thought the same way about our leafy friends, or as in your recent experience - enemies!
Anon ... I like all this kind of thing. I'm not into the apotheosis of nature, but I do like to think of it as being imbued with 'character'.

Also, I could have written "went out to draw and got hit on the head by a conker." But where's the fun in that?
It's interesting ( well I think so anyway ) how Homo sapiens have a need to attach human characteristics to other life forms, like plants as a for instance.
Why do we think, or wish to believe, that roses are 'classy', orchids 'exotic', or daisies 'common'?
The epithet 'sacred' is often used to accompany particular trees - the 'sacred' Baobab, for example. But do they know, and if so, care? ( there are more questions than answers - ask Johnny Nash! )
It's all such an arrogance on our part reducing to a human level another species experience - does a tree falling in a forest make a noise if no philosopher is there to hear it? I mean, Jeez!
Mythologising, like philosophising, is divinely human, if sometimes a mythtake.
Anonymous ... it's language isn't it? We see a quality that we want to define so we attach a word to it - that word usually coming from our own experience and perception. Daisies are everywhere, so they are 'common'. We do it with people too - hence stereotyping eg 'women drivers'. But as John Berger points out ... we see before we learn to speak. So the question is ... 'what do you see?'
I see trees of blue, brown roses too.
I see them bloom for me and you.
And I think to myself - must get my eyes tested!
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