When I first saw this nicely bent tree in McCormick’s Creek State Park in the fall of 2008, I did not expect to see it again.
Arch like trees have become something like an archetype for me, or rather, as I am not so fond of C.G. Jung, a pattern, as in pattern language. They serve the (purely symbolic, of course) dual purpose of creating a connection between two sides and signaling a passage through, and all this under the apparent duress of being bent to the verge of breaking. In any case, this arch was still there in winter, the next summer,
and the following years.
Is it still there? I leave it to you to decide whether this year’s image shows he same tree again.
It does not matter. Thomas Mann explains in his tetralogy Joseph und seine Brüder his concept of time: Events, or motifs for stories, or patterns, reoccur or are at least thought to reappear over and over, with no hope to trace their origin or future repurposing.
There will always be trees ready to bend, even after countless others have been broken.
In Memoriam, Orlando 6-12-2016
The french Nature Morte is a peculiar contrast to the english Still Life. For today’s images, the french version is better suited.
The dead tree, resting on a large boulder in front of McCormick Creek State Park’s canyon wall, invites to contemplate about decay and the passage of time very much like many still lifes do.
The image also follows an iconographic pattern, which consists of a platform, a presented object on the platform, and a backdrop. Traditionally, in a still life, the platform is usually a table, the objects can be fruits and flowers, and the backdrop is often a dark wall or piece of cloth. Here, the platform is the rock, the object the tree, and the backdrop the canyon wall. Several of Francis Bacon’s paintings (e.g. the Figure at a Washbasin) not only rely on the same pattern, but are compositionally reduced to it. In his case, the platforms are tables or chairs, the objects distorted people, and the backdrop is often a door or window.
I have probably taken about a dozen images of this tree over the years. It survived several winters.
However, heavy flooding has moved the tree out of the frame, making room for the next object.