Il faut etre deux pour danser un pas de deux.
Everybody knows that trees swing and sway and shake all limbs, when they dance with the wind.
But I was looking for a permanent stance, a figure involving two vegetal performers moving in synchronicity. A “pas de deux”, as the French first said it. Literally, step for two.
How I did it? Sorry, that’s a professional secret. Someone knowledgeable taught me, but made me swear not to reveal it.
However, there in the deep silence of the woods it becomes more than a coordinated move. It suggests an intricate and disquieting bond between two performing trees, forever tied in a frozen attitude.
A phoenix is an eternal bird that, according to Greek mythology, cyclically dies only to resurrect from its ashes. It was therefore considered a perfect symbol of constant renewal.
One Summer, my wanderings through the French Alps’ woods brought me to a secluded clearing. In middle of it were the decaying stump of a mighty pinetree.
Somehow it struck me as a most appropriate site to plant a young tree. And so I did, on the top of it, in its very center.
When I returned a few weeks later, it had prospered.
I marveled at this representation of how the youngest generations sink theirs roots in the physical body and, one would imagine, the wealth of knowledge of their predecessors.
Can you ask a worm do the work for you?
You just put it in a place he’s gonna like and wait. It’ll design beautiful intricacies, transforming an anonymous pole in a sumptuous abstract totem, in an object of ritual, in a scepter fit for an agrarian king.