Untitled (2016, ink on paper)
Actions from another time
If the so-called ‘age of austerity’ had begun by this point, I was only just able to taste it on my tongue. A claustrophobia (or an intensified version of what came previous) specific to this age ensued. And I hope I’ve already stressed on this blog how it feels that the gravest of issues threatening the basics needed to have a habitable planet seem to have been pushed further from grasp by a social climate that has necessitated an economically-debunked, ecologically-disastrous unhappy selfishness. What I mean is that just when all logic pointed us one way, the ruling agenda has hurtled us into a more fucking messed up take on all that came before.
And what I’m really talking about is that back in 2009, 2010, the issues that really ought to mean the most to me did mean the most to me, before I got embroiled in this day in day out self-preservation battle; one I foolishly didn’t anticipate due to a conviction that just ‘doing my own thing’ would suffice as a soul-saver – with no acclimatizing to social norms required for formulaic sexual attraction so necessary. But under all the will to help the world, I was never ‘the quiet man’ – always too easily swayed but the things I wished I wasn’t swayed by’. It caught up, and like Canute I just stood there.
Where did all the Caring go?
But that doesn’t mean I won’t prise out the courage to care again; I’m still inhaling and exhaling on this planet, and I still rest my words around the argument that it isn’t inevitable for our species to fuck it up, well-and-truly.
Here are some photos of a woodland slowly emerging from the trees I planted down the banking of the A637/ as South and West Yorkshire join together. I planted them over a succession of Wednesday’s in 2009, 2010, 2011, on my way to pick up my wage from my nearby workplace. I must have planted well over 50 trees (mainly oak) that are still growing.
I’m not saying my acts of guerrilla tree planting were doing anything more than acting as a gesture that I hoped would be spotted by others. But the very impulse I had to do this in the first place proves a fidelity to a wish that we could steer this defunct, insufficient vessel of western civilisation to a reasonable safe place build anew. And I know that sounds sort of religious, but this was one of many ‘artistic’ actions that stemmed from an initially-teenage inability to deal with the nihilism of accepting a world where we couldn’t save ourselves, and where the only aternative was to ‘make sure you have a good time before you turn the lights out’ – an offensive philosophy to anyone who finds/found something of contemporary life intolerable.
But, regardless of all that, these photos here show a bunch of trees that may grow into a woodland. Something my younger self should be angry about his older self not considering enough!