David Nash at Kew: the language of wood

10 thoughts on “David Nash at Kew: the language of wood”

  1. walk the Druids Grove at Mickleham, you will be in the company of some of the oldest living things on the face of this planet, that is a truly humbling experience. Consider also the mystery of the lime tree which once thrived here, but stopped reproducing itself after Britain was cut off from mainland Europe by the creation of the North Sea & the English Channel. The lime tree flowers at midsummer & I have argued that the Venerable Bede’s calendrical ‘Litha’ comment in fact references the lime tree month.

  2. That the ancient Greek said that everything is composed of water, fire, earth and air, does not sound ridiculous to me. Our scientific understanding may see things differently, having gone deeper in making artifical materials. I think that those Greek stood closer to the basic and more natural essence of things. Closer to nature. Something we have lost, almost.
    Trees. I have always had a love for trees. I stop on the road to look at one. I like touching them. They are directly connected to earth and air. Ancient peoples worshipped them. They can be found on special locations, like the crossings of li-lines.
    I like being with trees. I remember this special remote place in Chile where I went for a walk and suddenly found myself surrounded by some magnificent old trees. I sat down and spent some time there. It was special.
    The big tree in my parents’ garden has always had a special meaning to the whole family. It’s the place where we have gathered so many times.
    Unfortunately, very unfortunately, I don’t have a garden. But I do have wood in the house. Branches I pick up here and there. Even a 5 meter tall branch I found on the other side of town. It doesn’t fit in a car, nor a bus, nor a cab, nor an elevator. But I had to bring it home. So I walked, carrying it, making heads turn. When I moved apartments, I had to insist, almost beg the movers to put my tree in the truck.
    Well, i love trees. Guess that was clear.
    So you can guess how much i would love to see Nash’s trees!

    1. I appreciate you stopping by, reading, and taking the time to write a lovely response. You capture many of the ways in which trees are very special for many people (see also the Thomas poem posted by Kris below).

  3. “I should prefer the truth
    Or nothing. Here, in fact, is nothing at all
    Except a silent place that once rang loud,
    And trees and us—imperfect friends, we men
    And trees since time began; and nevertheless
    Between us still we breed a mystery.”

    ‘The Chalk-Pit’

    Edward Thomas, [1878-1917].

    1. Thanks, Kris, for both your responses. Those lines from Thomas are just perfect – especially as, at the end of a long poetic dialogue, they come, not from the romantic, but from the realist’s mouth. I recall, too, that the trees that once stood at the chalk pit were ash – now the UK’s ash trees are threatened by a killer fungus (see http://bit.ly/WFBBja and http://bit.ly/WFBRib) about which, as George Monbiot points out in a superb tirade in today’s Guardian, the government is doing bugger all (http://bit.ly/WFBWSV)

      1. Hi Gerry,

        Thanks. Well Edward Thomas gave his life for those desk loving bureaucrats who today care for nothing except ‘status based on salary’, it is deeply saddening – our world is becoming culturally shallower by the moment despite new technology & probably also due to direct government intervention in state education dating back to the 1990s. Whitehall (what happened to Devolution?) cares nothing for wildlife or the countryside which it sees as obstacles to progress in terms of concreting over the British Isles – apart from golf courses of course – and raising, in the place of forests and green spaces, private and lucrative developments of affordable housing that no-one can afford.

  4. Beautiful post!
    In your presentation I especially like “Cork Dome 1” & “Blue Ring”, very different in material and form, but still sharing a wonderful simplicity.

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