“…till Time made one of his gestures; his nails scratched the shingled roof. Roughly his hand reached in, and tumbled us out.“ ~ A Short, Slow Life, E. Bishop
The springtime holding pattern is upon us. The time when our calendars tell us it is spring and our internal body clocks start to anticipate a thaw of both the natural world and our own inner winter blues. We see the sun shining and assume we’ve made it through another winter cycle but the temperatures still say otherwise. Yet, somehow between the third and fourth nor’easters in so many weeks we were still able to squeeze in an afternoon to create a Goldsworthy in the woods and the budding forest reminded us we weren’t alone in our spring anticipations.
We took a path through the woods that we haven’t taken before and perhaps the newness of it coupled with the gracious familiarity of a more attentive sun had us seeing materials and natural canvases all along our hike. Factor in our pent up creative energies, we couldn’t help but dash off a few mini Goldsworthy’s before we were inspired to do a more intensive one.
The sticks for the second project were actually already in place when we came across the site. We’re not sure if it was a fellow natural art enthusiast who put them there or perhaps a diligent ranger had arranged them while clearing the path after the storms, but there were some vines incorporated in the structure that hinted that it may have been there awhile. We came across the bricks near the site which seemed to have come from a ruined foundation of a structure that had once stood in the spot but has begun to be reclaimed by the vegetation. We arranged the bricks in the stick structure as our own encouragement of the union of nature and the remnants of man.
Downed trees and broken branches that were snapped off during the arduous winter and hesitant spring lined the trail. In one particular spot we came across a gnarled trunk that seemed to have other tree limbs gathered amongst it and strips of bark littered the surrounding area. The bark was thick and heavy like a shingle as it needs to be in order to protect the fibrous inner workings of the tree from the elements, much like the duties of the roofs over our own heads. With the tree trunk foundation and limb infrastructure already in place, it made sense to give the formation a roof. We lined the structure with bark that we could find on the ground and when that ran out we went to the source – a dead tree that still stood tall with the others.
It’s possible that our unintended creative output resembles a shelter because it is reflective of our wariness that winter is truly behind us and homage to the homes that have kept us insulated for the past several months. Or maybe, knowing the ephemeral aspect to these projects, it is a representation of what we hope to leave behind as our own personal springtime blooms begin.