Pondering with Örö Pines


an experiment of meeting a pine a day for six days (13-18.5.2022)

Kära tall eller kära fura. Or actually I should say dear pine. I want to address you in English although it might be more natural to speak Swedish with you, but since it's not so natural to talk to you anyway, I might as well speak English. It's funny, I've never seen you before, although I've visited this island of Örö several times and walked around a lot and I've also been looking for pines with branches I could sit on. But I've usually followed the shoreline or then the marked paths and you're growing here, sort of a little bit inland, although here I can see the sea through the shrubs now when they don't have big leaves. Actually, I haven't been on this island in May before, so maybe I haven't seen you because you're covered up by the forest normally. Or then maybe you felt like you wanted to have somebody to sit on your lap today and invited me. Who knows. Or, there might have been somebody here before me, because it looked like almost a path leading up to you here. I wonder if you find this sunshine and this mild wind as pleasant and enjoyable as I do. I suppose you enjoy the light and the warmth but especially the light because that means energy for you. I've come to the island now only for a few days. And I thought I would like to make acquaintance with one pine every day. And first I thought I would go and visit one beautiful little pine on the shore on the western shore that I used to talk Swedish with last year, every time when I visited the island. And I only wanted to take a walk and look around and somehow sense how the island was now in this time of year. And then on the way back from the southern tip I just felt like I should come and follow the path and then I saw you. I have nothing special to discuss with you today. And it's maybe not so nice to intrude and come and disturb you. But I trust my sense of invitation. And it's so fun that you have this one big branch, which really looks like created for humans to sit on. Because you're growing more inland, you're not bent and twisted like many of the pines on the shore. On the contrary, you're very handsome, tall, and quite thick, so you must be ancient. You've met the Russians when they were here, probably. And then the Finnish Army and now all the tourists. And you have a great good luck in living in a national park now. So there is a great likelihood that you can live your life to the full. I know the forest department is reducing some of the pines by the shore, strangling them so to speak, letting them die slowly by taking away the bark around the trunk, but in order to maintain the landscape more open, which it has been. Because, dear pine, you're really a very strong and in some sense invasive species. Of course, you're not an invasive species here. This is your home. Except that when the land was rising, there were of course no forests on the islands to begin with. But now, you're not coming from abroad. You're .. Well, yeah, that's a good question. Everybody has come from abroad at some point, because earlier, there was only ice here. But anyway, it tends to be that when you grow, you proliferate in such amounts, that you prevent other species from surviving, especially those plants that need more open vistas and more sun. But of course, you're very resilient, as they say nowadays, because you can survive in quite harsh circumstances, not only the wind and the cold here, but the soil which is not... There is not much soil, on the cliffs, on the rocks and on the shore. Except that you produce a soil of sorts, of course, through your needles and pine cones when they fall to the ground. Well, I'm talking sort of nonsense with you or something that is trivial knowledge for humans. And for you even more trivial because it's knowledge of pines from a human perspective. But how could I sensitise myself to be able to listen to you, to take in your perspective? Well, that's a task. If I listen, I don't hear you. I hear the sea, the wind and the sea; sometimes when the wind is strong I can hear the wind in the pines too, but not now. I wonder if you can hear the sea as well. Some plants clearly can hear, so why not? It would be quite amazing if you could hear my speech, not necessarily understand what I'm saying, but if you could hear my voice. And if you could sense that I'm wishing you well, that I'm not trying to hurt you. And I'm not going to eat your bark or dig small holes into your wood, that then make it difficult for you to thrive. Although in Finland, people used to make bread, when there were bad years, when the crop was freezing, there was like, there is a part of your bark, or between your wood and your bark, there is a part that can be collected and dried and made into a flour of sorts and added to wheat or rye, or oats or barley, like half and half or something like that. I've never tasted that kind of bread. And they also say that it's not very good for you. It's really like, that it makes you sick, or then you have to prepare it in the right way. But it helped people to survive when, or at least they tried to survive by that means if there were hunger years. Well, if you're privileged in living in this national park, opposed to most of your relatives in Finland, which are living on plantations, and will be cut down before they reach old age, I must say I'm privileged too, to live in this time, when there is such abundance in this country. Right now, it doesn't feel like a privilege because there is war in Europe, and a lot of discussions about military alliances and nuclear weapons and horrible not suicidal but 'omnicidal' weapons as somebody called them. But still compared to ancient times when there was always war, but there was also famine. And now there is no famine. Even if the price of energy goes up, and we have to learn to live in a different way, there is nothing compared to the struggles before. Well, but that's again from a human perspective. Sorry for bothering you with my chatting, but I really appreciate your generosity of sitting here and allowing me to... while you're standing here and allowing me to sit here on your branch. I hope you will have a really great summer and many, many productive years to come. Yeah, maybe I'll come back to you later this week. But for now, I say goodbye and thank you. Thank you and take care. 


Kära tall, martall or Dear pine. Thank you for allowing me to sit on your trunk or one of your branches. I'm not really sure if I should address you as you, one pine, or as you, many pines growing from the same root but in English that doesn't make much difference, I guess. I thought I would ask you or talk to you about lichen because many of the pines on Örö Island do have beautiful lichen living on their trunks. But funny enough you don't have that many; there are some pale gray, greenish gray but rather small compared to some of the other ones. So maybe you don't, they don't bother you, I guess or and maybe lichen don't bother pines in general. But there is something fascinating about lichen as life forms because they are like collaborative endeavours by algae and fungi, several independent creatures that have started to collaborate and then they're very tough and hardy. Some can survive in very harsh circumstances. Why I thought about lichen was because the first time I was on this island in November 2020 I was collecting lichen, no not collecting them but photographing lichen every day. And I remember I was impressed by some of the interesting lichen that I could find on the trees here. But now when I think of it not all of them were pines, of course. And I guess what is needed is a humidity, like damp circumstances for the lichen to really stand out on the bark. Actually now in May, when it's fairly dry here I notice more of the lichen that grow on the cliffs, on the rocks. And they're quite big, like the type of lichen that reindeer eat and so on, which is not at all the same as the stains, colourful stains that sometimes grow on your bark. Instead of lichen I can see plenty of ants climbing around. And that's of course an other life form that seems to enjoy the circumstances that you provide. Not that I really know why ants climb on your bark, what kind of food do they find on your surface? Or do they create nests in the crevices in your bark? There are of course, insects that can be harmful to you, but I don't think ants will do you any harm. Your lower branches look rather dry. And I wonder if it's just because you're old, because you're not any youngster that I can see. Or is it because you don't have enough humidity here because you're quite high up on the hill. High up is not maybe the right expression, because the hills are not high, but high in the sense of in the part of the hill where there is not that much soil but where the bedrock is near the surface. Only less than a 100 meters from here, there are like small valleys with lots of soil even resembling swamps because the water gathers there. Today it's rather quiet, so I cannot hear the wind. We're not that close to the sea, but there is a mist coming in from the sea. And your branches are barely moving, so the wind is very soft. Usually the wind on Örö is very strong. When I look at your trunk very closely, I can see something that could be lichen, but that is very small, so it might be that there are different types of them. I'm not sure but I think I remember I read somewhere that actually the part of you that is living or like, well, living tissue is quite a thin layer under the bark, and on top of the wooden trunk. So most of your trunk is actually dead material or like remains of former living cells. I don't know if this is true, but that makes of course your relationship to your bark quite different. Or maybe like human hair. So if there would be an ant climbing on my head, near or on my skin on my head, I would surely sense it and wouldn't like it probably. But if there would be an ant crawling around in my hair, I wouldn't maybe notice it immediately. Unless it was big enough to somehow be felt by distance. Well, strange to look at such analogies with humans. I have to accept that I really cannot understand how it feels to have a bark like yours or to have several trunks like you have or to have lichen growing on your skin. Although of course, human skin has a lot of life forms, some sort of bacteria or even fungi living both inside and also on the skin. Yeah, probably the idea of addressing you as, whether you as a group of trunks from the same root or as one tree with several branches like a family, is a mistake. And I should try to see you or all of you more as a system, a systemic part, engaging in collaborations of various kinds, and on different levels, beginning from the molecular level, and cellular and then different types of life forms and... It is difficult because we're so accustomed as humans to consider ourselves as persons and individuals and somehow separate from our environment, that it's so easy to expand that sort of thinking to other creatures like trees. So, if I would think of you as a city instead, that might be more correct. But on the other hand, I have to stick to the species specific behaviour that is given to me. That is the way that I'm programmed to think and react and sense and so on. Funny to think of being programmed but of course, we are also genetically programmed, you are and I am, although, at least humans tend to pride themselves that they are adaptable and they can learn new things and that's why they've survived and covered the earth so to speak. But sure you pines are adaptable, too. When I look at the different pines on this small island, and how different the circumstances they are living in, some on very dry soil and some in damp places, some like solitary on a cliff and completely helpless against the wind and the storms and some in thickets of small pines growing next to each other and then tall, twisted, huge, weird, contorted pines. Well, sorry for saying that but you are a small, weird and contorted pine, your trunk is divided in several and the part or the branch that I'm sitting in is bent in a very strange way, but a way that is very comfortable for me to sit on. Well, I don't know what else to say except thank you for listening to me today. And thank you for being here and surviving and producing oxygen and creating soil on the ground and providing a home for so many different types of creatures, lichen and fungi and insects and what not. So thank you and all the best for the future. Take care.  


Hello pine. I'm pleased to meet you. I have to admit that you look really extraordinary and you're also growing in an extraordinary beautiful place on a panorama spot; there is even a sign pointing to this hill saying that there is a beautiful view. But unfortunately, you're lying down on this hill, since several years, it seems, because your roots and your trunk have gathered moss for a while. But I can also see that your crown is living well and thriving. So despite toppling over, falling in a storm, I guess, you continue living in this reclining pose, as if nothing happened. It's remarkable and it's amazing, and it's really difficult to imagine how that could be comparable with human existence, but, maybe it could be like... Because of course you can live even if, for instance, damaging your spine in such a way that you have to you use a wheelchair or lie down even. I know about the danger of trying to find similarities in order to help one feel empathy. I just read a text recommended by a colleague by Michael Marder, a text I read several years ago, but which I had forgotten most of the points of, which is really a severe critique of empathy, even more a critique of pity. And there is also the mention of the notion of compassion, of suffering with, that has been suggested by some philosophers like Schopenhauer influenced by Buddhism and so on. But, I agree that when I try to somehow address you, and speak to you, I'm actually talking to myself and I'm somehow projecting something of myself into you. But, so I recognise those limits, but I'm not sure it's any better to think of you as somehow completely other. So I'm not so sure that what he calls "totaliarising" vitalism would be so dangerous. Well of course, anything that is "totaliarising" sounds bad, which means that we would somehow not recognise the differences, but vitalism in the sense of recognising the common features of all life, despite the differences, I cannot see really the danger with that. I think there might be more danger in thinking of vegetal life as something completely separate. And yes, Marder suggests that we should recognise the vegetal in ourselves, yes, why not. But in some sense, the idea of assuming that there might be capacity to suffer and even a form of consciousness or, or whatever sophisticated forms of life can produce in vegetation, like in old trees like you, I would prefer to, to err on the side of caution, so to speak. So, I like to think that, although I cannot know, how you feel, or what you think, I want to leave open the possibility that you feel, and that you think. And I think or I am convinced that it's completely wrong, to think of humans as so utterly different from all other forms of life. Of course, that's been discussed a lot by contemporary post-humanist philosophers and so on, but the legacy of Western philosophy of somehow emphasising the spiritual dimension in humans and spiritual in the sense of an inner soul, that is distinguished from the outer body and this old mind-body dualism in a way, but also this idea of something inner as opposed to something outer, which is used to make a big difference between animals and plants or even more between humans and plants or humans and animals, there is something that is wrong with that. But, I would like to somehow, I would like to think that that you can be completely other, but we can also be the same. Because if I sort of out of respect, consider you as completely other that otherness becomes an extra barrier. I think it's enough difficult to try to, if not communicate with you then to suffer with you, to enjoy with you without such extra barriers. I guess we could learn a lot from some indigenous cultures where there is assumed respect for other forms of life, even considered as persons or entities or... This fear of animism, or maybe in discussions of philosophy, the fear of vitalism is something I'm not really convinced of. All right, I'm not a philosopher, so my lack of conviction is more emotional or intuitive. Why would vitalism be so dangerous? Why would the assumption that life has similarities? I think biologists think that there is a common source for all life on Earth. And even though life is, different life forms are continually differentiating, it doesn't mean that they would somehow live in a completely different realm from humans. Well, it's difficult. And then, on the other hand, the idea of animism, the idea that there is an anima or animus or a soul, or life force, or even some sort of personhood, in everything, not only in living things, but in rocks and rivers, and islands and so on. Yeah, well, it might feel strange, but there is something in the human way of thinking that invites to that. I mean, we can get angry with our computers when they don't work, so... and think of them as somehow animated, so why not? Why not trees? Just because you're silent and slow to our eyes, why would you lack, well, soul. Soul is difficult, because soul brings immediately thoughts of the Christian conception of separation of the soul and the body. Sorry for bothering you, with these thoughts, which are probably utterly meaningless to you. Or would be, if you could hear me or understand me. But, although I admit the limits of empathy, and somehow dangers of narcissism and anthropocentrism that somehow inevitably are included in my attempts at addressing you, I still hope that you could sense my appreciation for your resilience and for your beauty in this living in this marvellous spot and living in this spectacular way lying on the ground, which is not that usual for people of your kin. So, what else can I say? Except that I hope that my weight is not too much for you to carry, but I don't think so, because your trunk is really thick and you have been obviously lying here for quite a while. So, I wish you many years to come and thank you for your patience and apologise for my clumsiness if I address you with the means that are available to me. So yeah, sorry for for not being able to empathise with you or be, to suffer with you in an appropriate manner from your perspective. But, yeah, take care.

Hello pine. Great to be here with you on the eastern shore of Örö. The wind is from the west, but it's so strong that it reaches us here, too. You are climbing up on the rock in an extraordinary way. And from your trunk, I can see that you're a venerable old, pine. Of course saying that your venerable means using human terminology, which is probably not the right way to do it. I'm impressed by your performance, maybe we could call it performance in the sense of accomplishment, like a sports performance, the performance of sort of following the slope, with your branches and your trunk. Because from here, I can see that you have quite a large crown, which continues on the hill, although sticking low to the ground all the way. Somehow you make me think of the way that all plants, but also trees, and especially pines here, are expressing the quality of the place where they grow. So in the sense of, you're somehow displaying the circumstances that you've grown in, so not only are you like a display of your own history, but you're also a display of this place, and the affordances that this place provides. Well, all of the pines here are in that sense, performing in very different ways. But of course, they are also located in slightly different spots and have started to grow, have begun their life in slightly different moments. Or not only slightly different moments, very different moments. The idea of plants performing is something that I'm supposed to be speaking of tomorrow. And I've written about it in several contexts. Many people agree that plants do perform and in different senses of the word, also perform in the sense of presenting themselves or their flowers or fruits for animals or, insects mostly, but also animals that eat them. But of course pines are wind pollinated, so your flowers are not spectacular in any way. Your cones are pretty but they're not there at least for, to seduce humans. Because, yeah, they move in other ways. But your, the shape of your body is like one part of your performance. There are people who think that it's possible even to think of the way you grow by repeating certain features as a form of restored behaviour that is sometimes used to characterise performance. And some people like philosopher Luce Irigaray, at some point explains that it's actually your language, it is saying by doing, performative in a very literal sense. And, of course, there are people who criticise this idea of either a semiotic understanding of like, communicating through performance, or this linguistic understanding of doing by saying, by expressing. I like to think that besides this sports-like accomplishments that you really do all the time... calling them sports-like is, of course, stupid, because it's a question of survival for you. But I also like this idea that you appear, you appear in the world, for other creatures in the world, and for the world. So, as Karen Barad says, you participate in the performance of the world. But here, when we're performing for the video camera, we could also say that we are not only or not necessarily intentionally performing in the sense of putting on a display for the camera, specifically, I do that, you don't necessarily do that. But you're appearing in this place, in this very moment. And I'm trying to appear with you. Of course, this idea of place is the crucial thing. So I think one way, I have tried to respect your specific way of being, is exactly to come and perform with you, where you are, where you grow, in your home, in your place, the place that you're expressing by your being, rather than bringing parts of you or any plans into human settings, like a stage or a gallery, or a museum. Of course, that also can be done. And if we think of potted plants, and so on, or a bonsai that wouldn't be so difficult. But to move you away from here would be really dangerous and difficult and might damage you severely or even kill you. And would be somehow also perhaps disrespectful. It's difficult to imagine such a tight connection between location and existence, because humans and animals are able to move, so even though we have, we can have very strong emotional relationships to places or be formed by the places and cultures where we're born, we can still move. But this idea of being able to transform yourself, depending on where you are to such an extent that you do, I think that's somehow amazing. Of course, you can't change yourself back so to speak. So even if the circumstances now would change a lot, like for instance they might with climate change. So if it would become much more warm, or a new type of insects or even harder storms, or however, you still carry the legacy of your life history so far with you. So you can't sort of get rid of this bent trunk of yours. Or maybe, maybe it is like you, your branches extend further and maybe they could develop some sort of roots on the ground further up on the hill, literally, sort of moving upwards, I'm not sure. At least they can use the hill and the rock and the soil on the rock to attach to as support. Well, I'm thinking here about place and performance and appearance and stuff like that. And it might be that what you're interested in right now is simply whether the wind will move this way, or whether there will be enough rain or humidity, because in your position here, you're quite protected for the wind, not in the sense of that the wind wouldn't touch you, but you wouldn't sort of topple over because of the wind as many of your kin have done here, fairly recently as well. But I guess there must be a lack of water here at some point unless there is some water collected in the crevices here, because I can see some moss that wouldn't survive if there wouldn't be quite enough of water at least periodically. Yeah, well, difficult to imagine. Anyway, thank you for letting me sit here and once more my sincerest appreciation and admiration for your beautiful form and which I think is a result of your extraordinary performance. So thank you for that and all the best for the future. 


Hello Pine. Strange to sit here with you. I've been passing by many times because you're growing right by the road but I never thought I would come and sit here. Today, maybe because of the late afternoon light you looked so inviting and easy, like any pine, except that you have this very practical low branch to sit on. I also noticed that I forgot to switch my black sweater on. So now I'm wearing gray. But maybe that's alright, because the light makes you great too. I've been listening to presentations about environmental aesthetics all day and even contributed a small presentation myself, about urban architecture and about literature and ecosystem services and whatnot. But there was one talk that stayed in my mind that might somehow interest you as well, or at least have relevance for you. And that was about light. How darkness is something that has almost disappeared especially in cities but because there are like areas of human habitation outside cities as well, there is a lot of light everywhere. And my first thought was that yes, wow, on Örö this is not a problem, because here the night is still night. Except for the few strange lamps that glow on the shores at night, and which look really like eerie science fiction, UFO landing traces; I don't know what, they look magic. And that's for gathering insects, so that somehow the light invites insects. Some researchers collect insects to learn about their life or existence, I suppose. And then I thought that probably that light is so local that it doesn't disturb your sleep or rest at night. Because probably like many plants, you have accustomed to the planetary cycles of day and night so you have a rhythm of night and day, even though you might not sleep in the same way as humans and some animals do. But then I remembered that actually, there are streetlights here as well. Only on a short stretch of the road but they are probably visible from here, too, although the road you're growing next to does not have street lights here, but like 500 meters further away, there is already light at night. Compared to the amount of light in cities that is of course, a very small amount but still, light is strange because even a small amount of light in darkness destroys the darkness in a way. Of course, this time of year, it's seems so strange to speak of darkness because it never gets really dark. Or the darkness that is almost dark is only a few hours in the middle of the night. I think the sun sets around 10 o'clock in the evening. It's now soon six o'clock and the sun is high in the sky. But probably that's also a rhythm that you're accustomed to, like even people can accustom to this idea of a long night of the winter and a long day in the summer and somehow adjust the rhythm of life accordingly. Partly consciously of course, but partly on a biological level, unconsciously. So, then I guess your photosynthesis will adapt in a similar manner. So, now you're in a period of frantic activity. You look the same unlike the deciduous trees and all the shrubs and plants that are growing their leaves so quickly, so it feels like you could see them grow by the naked eye, which is not true of course, but almost. But you look the same. So, I wonder is it that you react more slowly to the light or is it that other circumstances like humidity or warmth or something else is more important. They say that most plants are super sensitive to different types of light so that the color of the light changes during the day and during the year. So if you're that sensitive to light then it must influence you in some manner and it's only my insensitivity that prevents me from seeing your reactions. In the discussions today, I was again reminded of how reluctant many people are to considering plants as fully living beings, that should be treated with respect or... It is strange because nowadays most people accept that animals are not machines or insentient beings but animals have feelings and are capable of suffering and so on. But, and of course anybody who has pets would know that but also other types of animals. But why that is so difficult to understand with plants, I don't really, I don't really see the reason for it. The argument that was presented was that plants need no consciousness because they don't move. And that's somehow strange, because why would those be linked? And somebody said that, yes, the learning of plants could be compared to the same way that a human being has a skin that reacts to the sun. I think that's a strange comparison. Because yes, sure, you probably have a lot of automatic reflexes, reactions. And a lot of your life processes are not based on conscious decision making. But on the other hand the, somehow the difference between conscious and unconscious decision making, even in humans is rather subtle. So many of the decisions we think are conscious, are actually unconsciously made. And consciousness is something that is, comes afterwards. Another thing is then why consciousness would be the only important quality. So why wouldn't there be learning and memory and even decision making, without consciousness in the same way, as humans pride themselves of being conscious. Probably, it is our complete dependence on plants, for almost everything, in the last instance, that prevents us from from accepting that we yeah, that we cause a lot of suffering to other beings, just to keep ourselves alive. And that's something indigenous people have, or many indigenous people have known as they, I'm told, that there is a sort of reciprocity needed in the world, because everything wants to live, that is alive. And everything that is alive, can also suffer to some extent, because otherwise, it would be difficult to be alive. So this idea of taking only what you need, that made sense in sort of traditional ways of life, that's completely absurd and impossible for humans today, when everything is about taking as much as possible, in order to make as much profit as possible. And I'm part of that system. So please, dear pine, don't think that I'm in any way trying to pretend that I would be different, on the contrary. In order for me to sit here on your branch, so many trees have suffered and have been cut down and sold and made into commodities. And of course, not only trees. When I think of it, I'm sad. But on the other hand, I'm also somehow rather brutal. I had no difficulty in killing some ants that had come into the kitchen today. And probably, yes, I can remember sort of uprooting small spruces from the garden in the countryside in my grandmother's cottage when they were growing in places where we wanted to have flowers instead. So the balance between somehow hurting others and utilising them... Well, how can I say this? I know I should be thankful to all of you and your kin and I am, but how many times ever I repeat that, it doesn't change. I still speak in the position of a human that exploits you to the maximum. And it doesn't help if I say I'm sorry. It doesn't help if I feel sorry. I should be grateful instead so okay, I'm grateful. And right now I will leave you here by the meadow or field and thank you for this moment. And thank you for your patience in listening to my complaints. Yes, take care. 


Hello, pine, or good morning. Although you're growing here on the western shore, the sun reaches you beautifully and me sitting on you from the east because of the opening in the forest. I came to you early this morning, well, it's not early but morning anyway, because there is less wind now. And they have forecasted that the wind will return around noon. And I wanted to try to talk with you here on the western shore, now when the wind hopefully doesn't destroy the recording. You're a spectacular pine tree and I remember you from my first visit to the island in November 2020. This is my last day on Örö during this trip, so I wanted to come and say hello. And also to talk with you, because although I did pose with you earlier, I've never tried to address you before. I realise you're very familiar with attention because your trunk is bent in such a spectacular way. And the place where I'm sitting as well as some other place nearby are really marked by small paths leading up to these seats so to speak. So obviously, visitors and tourists have found you a perfect selfie spot or photographic spot in any way. The site where you're growing is spectacular because we have the open sea and the long sandy shore right behind my back. But I'm facing the forest now to face the sun, but also to avoid the wind, which is almost always from the west. Well not always, but usually. I have no specific topic to discuss with you today except this idea of returning which is somehow fascinating. I used to earlier, I used to focus on this idea of returning repeatedly to the same tree or the same spot. And I did it partly to create time lapse videos to show the changes and to experience the changes but also as a form of routine or habit, something that became like a substitute for meditation even or substitute for any kind of mindfulness practice or whatever you prefer to call that. And that also created a specific bonding with the tree. So this idea that I've experimented with now on this short visit to Örö, to befriend a new tree, or at least make acquaintance with a new tree every day, is a very different idea. And now, when I come back to you it's also different from these regular returns; it's one and a half years since we met last time. Well, I've been walking past here many times, but not sitting in your lap or on your branch to be correct or trunk actually. And in some sense, I feel a little bit guilty to have chosen you to visit now, because your performance is so obviously spectacular. And there are so many, many, many small pines contorted, and bent and twisted in various ways, all along the shore. But then I thought that maybe I can honor you, and your sort of old age also, by foregrounding you instead of some of the other ones. Also, this idea of enjoying the sculptural form that you created of your trunk is of course controversial, because these beautiful forms are the result of accidents and misfortunes and small catastrophes but they're also the evidence of your tenacity and resilience and will to live and to accommodate. I thought I would sit here and rest and find a moment of stillness instead of this eternal babble but I realise the wind is so chilly that I really can't relax while I'm sitting here. I understand that there is no way I can feel what you feel or experience what you experience. But simply this sense of cold that comes to my bones from this little wind which is nothing compared to the ordinary winds here, and of course nothing to compare with the winter storms, gives me an idea of the sort of conditions that you're living in. That said something in this idea of calmly adapting to the situation that you find yourself in is admirable. There was, I was asked to create a provocation or an assignment of sorts for a project called Designing the pluriversity or something like that a year ago. And now we're going to have a symposium online with all the people who participated by creating provocations. My provocation was the assignment to go and interview a tree, or try to talk with a tree with paper and pen and to try to receive whatever comes to mind when staying with that tree. The assignment was formulated in a slightly different manner but anyway, and I also made a video with an old Tarri pine in Hailuoto Island up in the north. They call old thick pines for Tarri pines there, I wonder if you would be called a Tarri pine according to their preferences, I'm not sure. But anyway, the responses to that video and to that assignment by the various students, and participants who responded to it and uploaded stuff online are fascinating. I looked at them now because of the symposium and many of them emphasised exactly this calmness or stillness or invitation to rest for a moment. Some people also emphasised the rootedness and the importance of that. But I think the interesting thing is, if you could teach us humans to rest, to stay for a while, even to reflect, to find the capability of enduring the moment. It sounds strange to speak of enduring the moment instead of enjoying it. But most people, including me, are restless. And being in one place, for real, for a while, is almost like an endurance test. Well, this moment, which I expected to be a lovely sort of encounter or the joy of seeing you again, and sitting here aware of the fact that these rare moments will soon pass, is now destroyed by the simple fact that it's so cold. It's amazing how life is sensitive and vulnerable. Humans are but not only humans. And probably you're also sensitive and vulnerable in your own manner, although your trunk shows that you have managed to thrive despite that vulnerability. But the conditions for life are quite narrow in the sense, in terms of temperature, in terms of humidity, in terms of light and darkness, in terms of chemical compounds in the atmosphere. As researchers tell us, it's really very little is needed for life in its current form on Earth, to have difficulties. Of course, there are bacteria and viruses and specific types of like cellular creatures that can thrive in very hot and very cold, very acidic, or very alkaline circumstances. But sort of, I'm tempted to say, ordinary creatures, like you and I, like pines and humans, which now are so abundant everywhere on the planet, or not everywhere, but in many places, we need specific circumstances to live and thrive. And it's very sad if humans now are stupid enough to destroy those circumstances, not only for themselves, but for other creatures like you. I apologise for my kin. Of course, there are other things I should apologise for in our relationship to you specifically, but this problem of climate change and or climate catastrophe, and also the loss of habitats to live in, is what I'm thinking of right now. But I don't want to end with a sad note because I'm going to say goodbye to you now. And I don't know when we meet again, but I'm sure that I will take every opportunity to come back here to the island and also to say hello to you. But meanwhile, I wish you have a beautiful warm and sunny and also peaceful summer. And hopefully not too many people like me come and sit on your trunk. Maybe you like some attention, so let's hope there will be the right balance for that. But thank you for for this moment. Good luck.