Practice Progression

I Want to be that Branch.

I came across this scene on my first walk at Joya and I was immediately fascinated by it. This outstretched branch, just existing in the clay, throwing a shadow onto the surface- its only mark on the earth.

The longer I stared at the composition of the stagnant water and the branch, the more and more I became interested in its simplicity, its stillness, its lack of purpose… I then began to feel jealous of the branch. It exists, undisturbed, unobserved- the opposite of my life- until I violated those luxuries. Shocked at my reaction, I thought about my own existence, and realised in that moment how complicated and noisy it felt. Experiences and situations I am struggling to process, a sense of duty to do what people expect of me, a question mark over what I want to do with my life. Yet when I looked back at the branch, it had no such burdens, and my jealousy only grew.

I then questioned my assumptions. Does the branch in fact have a purpose? Does this composition add anything to the environment? The water, filled with disease, only supporting the bacteria and parasites that feed off life, and the branch, bone dry with no life growing from its tip? I pondered these questions for some time, before concluding that the scene cannot bring positivity or purpose to its environment. It just is. I then thought about how peaceful and tranquil it would be to take on its static position for a short amount of time, having no purpose other than to exist. I realised that as a human, my body would ache, my skin would burn, my mind would wander. But I could try. For the sake of my desires, my tiredness, my needs.

I want to be that branch, to gain that sense of quiet, that lack of purpose, if only for a short amount of time.


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