Junction 38 Tree. 10 years old


Ten years ago to the day (28.12.2006) I got the help of a friend to drive me out to a grassy island at the motorway junction on the border of South and West Yorkshire, to plant an oak sapling. It was for the aide of a project I was undertaking in my final year of my degree, to plant trees as a statement. For a held belief that more forested land (town and country) would be an essential factor in a survivable, and enjoyable,  21st century world.

I guess that belief is still there, but the fresh- faced idealism isn’t. I’m much more of a depressed idealist these days – who still has in mind such an ideal, but who is far more weary after a following a decade made up of overthinking about just how you ‘square the circle’.

I became wary to point fingers because I became aware that my fingers were just as much stained with complicity. My focus moved away from relying on ‘magical voluntarism’ (Mark Fisher) to ‘save the day’ and onto a social spirit that will not budge from engaging in harmful actions when it is depressed and defeatist.

I see this tree almost every week, as not long after I planted the tree, post-graduate job-seeking landed me in a job role just up the road. I’m glad it’s been here 10 years, in a decade that feels simultaneously short and long. 10 years ago I saw climate action as number 1 in humanity’s ‘to do’ list. 10 years later I still see climate change as the biggest issue,  but the MAIN issue is how to transcend a capitalist world without it becoming something even worse and more barbaric.  

But a lot of my actions over the past 10 years are the actions of someone overcome by a sense of defeat on a daily basis, a sense that is very much connected to the world as I have found it. Amidst the hyper-malaise of the present I nonetheless hope one day I can waste a day away admiring the trees I once planted.


Tags: ,

About John Ledger

A visual Artist, eternal meanderer and obsessive self-reflector by nature, who can’t help but try to interpret everything from within the tide of society. His works predominantly take the form of large scale ballpoint pen landscape drawings and map-making as social/psychological note-making. They are slowly-accumulating responses to crises inflicted upon the self in the perplexing, fearful, empty, and often personality-erasing human world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: