Monthly Archives: September 2007

Castles made of sand

Saturday 8 September 2007

And so, castles made of sand fall into the sea, eventually
(Jimi Hendrix).

And so too, a similar way of some trees, in the wrong location at the wrong time, are simply cut back, their history erased from the scene. I took the following photographs with my mobile phone during a lunch break.


[Evidence of the force of nature, barbed wire piercing through the fork of two tree branches …]

I was quite saddened to see that rather than clip away the wire fencing to allow the trees to continue to grow and mature in situ (as they had done, enveloping the wire), they had felled them completely, leaving only the remains of tortured-looking branches, their limbs punctured and pierced through by the wire barbs, dangling like dismembered limbs.


[The wire fencing has ‘trapped’ a branch every few metres…]

The scene reminded me of the etching by Francisco de Goya, Great deeds! Of the dead!, in turn conjuring up another vision of Holocaust concentration camps, weakened but brave souls making their futile escape, caught up in the torchlights so near to the edge of freedom, mercilessly shot down by the guards from the watchtower (another reference to Hendrix).


[Goya’s etching, Great Deeds! Of the Dead! c.1810. From the Disasters of War series, images found to be so shocking that their publication was banned during Goya’s lifetime…]

I decided right then that soon I really should return at dark to re-photograph the tree stumps. The whole experience was a unsettling moment for me, as I also saw an aspect of my own self reflected back in those entangled remains, trying to survive and thrive in uncertain times, seeking recognition and acceptance, wanting more time to prove myself to others, but feeling unable to change the course of current events. However, as with the castles made of sand by the sea, we have to acknowledge these experiences (good or bad) for what they reveal to us at that precise moment in time whatever the future or final outcome and then, somehow changed by circumstance, accept that each time we are made a little bit stronger or a little bit wiser by them…