Tree Gesture 3

Trees are remarkable dancers. You just have to slow down your sense of time to keep pace with the rush of their agile, moving bodies. Plants and trees move by growing. And they grow by lapping up sunlight and pulling matter out of thin air. As they grow, they literally make the world, thickening their trunks, branches, stems, and leaves as they inhale gaseous carbon and exhale oxygen. In this way, trees teach us the most nuanced lessons about mattering. Trees grow from million-fold “centres of indetermination” (cf Deleuze). As they grow, they explore the world around them, conducting inquiries, experiments, and catalyzing new ecological relations. They record their worldly experiences in their forms. You can get a feel for the remarkable history of a tree’s encounters with insects, animals, wind, fire, and chainsaws by taking the time to trace its gesture. Winter trees, and trees whose spring buds have yet to burst make it easy to follow along. Trace a tree’s silhouette, it’s sweeping curves, arcing limbs, or meandering branches by pulling a pencil across a page, or by moving your own body. Let yourself be moved by its form.