online: 10 september 2004
modified: 10, 15 septemeber 2004

9 september 2004 in a forest

15:40 I was lying on dry ground, composed of fallen twigs and leaves, and an occasional feather, in a piece of forest where nobody comes. Looking up I could see flat sprays of overlapping beech leaves, light green. The shadows of some of them are projected onto others as dark green patches with serrated edges and each leaf has the unmistakable oval shape with s-curves to form its tip. But each leaf is different and that difference is a record or a biograph of its unique history, interacting with whatever photons, or shadows, or water molecules, or winds, or even hungry squirrels that came into the life-space of that or any leaf...

...I don't know enough biology to infer any more of the influences that could account for the unique shape of each one. It is ... interesting to contemplate the sameness and the difference between elements of any one species as embodying both perfection and roughness, perceived order and disobedience, in the one type of thing, wherever one looks (in a forest).

This is something we have yet to achieve in things artificial but thank goodness the advent of digital computing has made it possible, at last, to leave mechanical sameness to history and to look forward to a future in which things made industrially, and digitally, can be as diverse as we wish (as was the case in craftwork but for different reasons).

As I lay on the ground in that piece of forest I could see some young beech trees swaying in the wind. This reminded me of a storm in a forest when Edwin Schlossberg showed me how to listen to the crackling sounds inside treetrunks in motion. So I got up to press my ear to the smooth bark of a beech tree - and yes, I could hear this music again, the explosive inner song of the trees bending under strain. But today it is quieter, the wind being more a breeze than a storm.

To: Ed
From: jcj
Subject: music of trees

fond memory, last paragraph!

To: jcj
From: Ed
Subject: Re: music of trees

the tree has its physicality and we have the rest to make with it what we will - memories, violins, but unlike the tree what we make only exists between us



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