Tagged: growth


Thinking alot about Growth recently.
Reading about ideas of Degrowth.
Knowing that it is less, not more, that I need now,
But not wanting to ‘send us back to the dark ages’.

I stare out of the window.
Tree teacher.

The great Oak grows up fast in the beginning.
Then pauses to thicken.
Creating Stability.

Often it looses a lower limb or two as it stretches toward the sky.
Shedding what no longer serves.

It grows slower and wider as it ages.
Putting on rings of girth.
Not only on it’s trunk, but also on it’s branches and it’s roots.
Growing in all directions!
Building strength to ensure it’s longevity.

In years of scarcity it grows less.
In years of plenty it takes all it needs.
In it’s maturity it becomes host to other, new, Life.
Ferns and fungi, lichen and mosses.

Societal progress might do well to learn from this great tree.

Societal ‘growth’ has more in common with the growth I see in the commercial, forestry, plantations.
The fast growing, conifer, trees, all planted too close together.
They rush toward the light.
Growing thin, straight and brittle.
The ground below becoming deadened.
Little thrives there, in the acid dark, to knit it all together.

And then, when the first big wind comes along,
They uproot or snap.
Collide into one another, falling like dominos.
Each taking it’s neighbour down as it falls.

Becoming worthless as a crop.
Impossible to even harvest.

No longer possible to make sense of as ‘forest’.

So Oak teaches it is not about stopping growing.
Not about degrowing.
(Although, perhaps, we could lose a useless limb or two, that no longer serve)

It is about growth in the right places, at the right time.

Allow for more Light.
Create more Space.
With Care and Foresight,
Prune away the dead, or diseased, wood as necessary.

Like all good gardeners, cultivate more Patience.
More Awareness of Resources available.
More Awareness of what grows Beneath.

This is what makes for more Resilience.

These are lessons well worth remembering now.

Not new wisdom. As ancient as the hills.

Thank You Oak for reminding me.

Kat Robertson. May 2021.

charcoal drawing, used to create animation, in its final state.
‘Tree. Growing in all directions
, as dictated by what is available to it, by the stresses it encounters

Suminagashi tree rings and oysters.

I thought I’d have a play with a technique I stumbled across on the internet.
Such fun. The delicate dripping of pigment and soap onto the water’s surface. This was a near perfect print of the ‘tree ring’ effect created.
I am looking for new ways to speak for the trees and something in this intrigues me.

Trying out the ancient, Japanese, art of suminagashi.
suminagashi marbling
print taken using suminagashi marbling technique.

I also went for a wonderful wander along the shore that day and picked up a few old oyster shells. The largest of my experiments looked very like an oyster shell!

'Oyster shell' suminagashi.
‘Oyster shell’ suminagashi.

There is quite a local back story on these two shells. Our native oysters are now under threat from farm introduced pacific oysters and local community are working out ways to support, perhaps farm, our old local variety here on the West Coast of Scotland.

Musing about the layered growth of all things natural.

oyster mirror
oyster mirror digital image.