With the Pine(s) in Mazzano Romano 

Hello Pine, "buongiorno, mi dispiace non parlo italiano, dispiace non parlo la lingua di pino, non parlo la lingua dei pini", so I have to speak in English. This is an experiment in addressing you dear pine in the old mideaval town of Mazzano Romano, Mazzano Romano Vecchio, and doing that while creating an image and the sound at the same time. I saw you the first night I came here, that was on Sunday night, and now it's Tuesday morning. I don't know if I'm going to talk to you like this with an image of you, or simply record the sound. When I look at what this results in, I can make up my mind. But for now, I ask for your consent in joining me in these recorded conversations. So please, if you have something against it, let me know in your manner. Thank you.

Dear pine, "mi dispiace non parlo italiano, dispiace non parlo la lingua di pino, non parlo la lingua dei pini", so I will address you in English and apologise for that. This is an experiment. I would like to record some conversations with you either by sound like now, or with video as I tried before, and I would ask for your consent. I know this is difficult because we don't share the same language but I'm sitting here, I am near you and I ask you to please let me know in your own way if you don't want to engage in this recorded conversations. Thank you.

Buonasera Pino, good evening, good afternoon. It's a hot day and the sun is shining on you and on me as well. I'm a little bit protected or the camera is a bit protected by some leaves but not for long. Have you thought about my proposal to have some conversations in English? I haven't decided whether to make video notes or sound notes only, but I decided to try once more with an image because that makes your presence more tangible, more visible, more real, hopefully. Otherwise I've been working with the images of another pine, thousands of kilometres from here. And I still don't know really what we should do together. But anyway, I hope you're going to enjoy the cooler evening and see you perhaps tomorrow, so take care.

Buonasera Pino, good evening Pine. I came to you now, it's 7 o'clock in the evening, but it's still light and the two cats that were sitting on the rock next to you that I called the guardians of the pine when I came here the first time, they were here again, but when I came closer, they disappeared. Or no, they didn't disappear, they jumped down and now they're looking at me from a distance and wondering how come I'm sitting on their rock, but I'm just on a brief visit. This was an exciting day because we walked together with the two Estonian women, we walked all the way to the nearby town Kalkata, which is very beautiful and a medieval or even more ancient town in the valley of Treja as well and on a mountain and maybe even steeper than the one where we are in Mazzano now. Otherwise I have nothing new to tell you. And no questions to pose to you either. I thought that might be a reasonable practice, if I think of one question for you for each visit and then I could invite you to respond to that question. That might be a nice experiment. But for now, I'm just wishing you a nice evening. So thanks for today.

Buonasera Pino, Good evening Pine. Here I am again and without any good question to you. I'm sitting on the rock as before and I noticed that actually the rock is fountain; it it's only that the water tap and a small reservoir they are placed away from the path and overgrown. It's a hot day today again, although the sun is somehow smoothened a little bit or softened by, not clouds but something similar. I've been struggling with the Internet connection and then I gave up and decided that there is no point in trying to do that. But I'm somehow not sure what I should do here, or what I should do with you, or with my life here or anything. So would you have an advice to me, what should I do? What, if you were me, what would you do? ---  Yeah, well, be patient I guess, yes. So thank you.

Buonasera Pino, good afternoon Pine. Now there is an aeroplane passing by, making some noise. I'm approaching you from a slightly different angle because the sun is so high so I can't sit on the fountain, but I'm standing almost in the midst of a blooming hibiscus tree. I's amazing, full of lilac, pinkish, violet flowers. I wonder, I wanted to ask you about your relationship to your environment. Do you feel happy here on the slope? Do you feel nurtured and supported by the vegetation below or do you feel cramped and suffocated? Are you collaborating with the lush vegetation around you or are they actually disturbing you and competing about nourishment and humidity and so on. For light you have, of course, the advantage being the highest one. But yeah, so how do you feel about your environment? Do you feel supported or thwarted? Yeah, a bit of both I guess. Okay thanks.

Buongiorno Pino, Good morning dear Pine. I'm looking at you now from the piazza up in the village. You're quite far away and a strange angle or strange perspective to see you from above. The sun is hot, warm, although it's not even eleven o'clock yet. And you might enjoy that because it means a lot of light but I guess it needs to be tiresome for you as well. Because even though you can shut your needles so they don't evaporate too much of the humidity into the air, you can't close them completely, I guess. So how do you feel about the sun? Is it all benign and beautiful and provider of energy and food for you? Or is it also a menace, a torture and a danger, as it can be if it creates a fire or makes the vegetation dry up completely? How do you feel about the sun? -- Yeah, the Sun is a life giver, that's for sure. Thank you.

Buonasera Pino, good afternoon Pine. Now I'm here below you, further down from the fountain where I usually sit trying to talk to you. I can hear some kids in the house behind me. It's 4 o'clock and it's very, very hot. I wonder how this heat affects you, but it seems like you're doing fine. From here I can see your cones, the old cones and it looks like at least you're not the type of pine that I thought you were, Pinus peuce. But I don't really know what kind of pine you are, because you don't resemble the normal or most usual pine trees here, the stone pines, Pinus pinea. Well, this is the human obsession with species and classifications and so on. Maybe you're a strange hybrid. So is it important for you to know your identity, your species or ethnicity, ee would say in human terms. What is important for your knowing of the myself so to speak. -- Yes of course, the relationship to place, location, belonging. Yes, that's clear. Thank you.

Buonasera Pino, how are you today? It's been a hot day but now the sun is low, it's half past six already and it's slowly, slowly getting a little bit cooler. I had the idea of taking a walk to the river but then I realised I have to visit you. But I don't have a real question for you today. Maybe something about work, because I've been sort of working all day, editing olds texts and it feels like work. I can't say I've been very productive but of course I've been doing something that shall be done, needs to be done. But do you feel like you're working? Because in some sense you're going on with your photosynthesis every day, but is it like breathing for me, that I don't think it's work, I just do that? Or is it really something that requires an effort? I guess, yes of course it takes energy but breathing takes energy, too. So, what is work for you? -- Yeah, well, maybe transporting minerals and water up to the crown and then sugar or glucose back to the roots, so transport, that's interesting. Okay, thank you.

Buonasera Pino, good afternoon. It's a hot day, although perhaps not exactly as hot as yesterday. Hard to say, I've been indoors working all day. And soon I'm going to join a zoom meeting, where we are planning for a workshop later this month related to myths. I'm thinking especially of myths related to pine trees. I remember reading a Greek myth about a nymph being transformed into a pine tree to escape the harassment or, well to escape Pan, or some other God or semi-god. Now I don't remember the details. But that's of course, only one possible myth with pines. The other important mythological connection is the pine tree at the back of the Noh stage in Japan, because there is always a pine tree painted. And there is a story telling that the first Noh stage was built in a manner that there was a pine tree reflected on the blank wall behind the stage, which served like a mirror, and after that there has always been a pine tree safeguarding the passage from the unknown world to this world or the invisible world to this world, back and forth. I wonder if you could serve as such kind of intermediary? Or do you have some other myths that are related to you here, in Italy?  -- Well, you're not answering me directly, it's the wind that comes and... Maybe, maybe the myths are related to the wind, pines and wind are perhaps somehow related. Thanks anyway and see you tomorrow.

Buonasera Pino, good evening Pine. There's quite a bit of wind this afternoon, or evening, which is nice because it takes the mosquitoes away and it's a little bi cooler, but it might destroy this recording, of course. I just walked across the Treja and tried to get up on the mountain on the other side, but the path was soon so slippery, not slippery with mud but slippery with leaves and sand, so I turned back. Bit what I thought I'd... the rest of the day I've been sitting indoors, editing, editing, going through old texts. And that's what made me think that I'd like to ask you: How do you feel about sort of recycling old parts? I see you have some branches that are dry that still hang on, and I don't know what you're going to do with them, are they just hanging on until a storm breaks the branch and it will fall off? Or do you somehow reutilise them? And the same of course for the old pinecones, but I guess they are waiting for their chance to sort of fly away or be eaten by some animal or fall or whatever. But these dry branches, they feel like my old texts. Except that not all of them are bad, it's just they're old, or they're sort of evidence of the past. So how do you recycle your past work? -- Yeah, okay, so storing the work, or letting it be until you need it somehow. That's a good advice, let it be. Thanks.

Buonasera Pino, Buongiorno Pino, good afternoon, strictly speaking. It's past noon but it's almost noon so I wouldn't call this afternoon yet. The hottest time of the day is in front of us, but right now the sun is burning hot already. And this morning I was translating an old text that I've spoken to a pine tree in Finland in the north two years ago and translating that into English. And I thought about this conversation, or attempts at conversation with you, dear Pine, as a continuation of the same practice. But I also noticed that I haven't learnt that much about you and your language during these years, and that made me worried that is this attempt meaningful at all. So, but anyway what I wanted to ask you about is your relationship to this heat, this warmth. Because it's obviously going to increase due to human burning of fossil fuels among other things and also now with a shorter perspective they have promised a heat heat wave coming this way, so next Tuesday we will have like 40°C. So are you some how, are you prepared for heat? Because I would imagine you are one of the experts in sort of surviving the fluctuations. How do you feel about the coming heat? -- Yes of course, you close the small mouse in your needles and wait for the night to bring coolness. Well, I should do the same and go indoors now. Thank you.

Buonasera Pino, good evening Pine, nice to see you again, now in the evening or late afternoon when when the sun is lower it's not so hot any longer, but it's still warm. I thought about the wind today because I really, really like the wind. On the one hand, because it makes the air cooler, on the other hand because it keeps the mosquitoes away or somehow they're not as angry and eager to bite you when it's windy. There's not much wind right now and of course if the wind is really strong it's scary and dangerous even, a storm, but generally I feel the wind is my friend. That said, it makes me sneeze for some strange reason, any kind of small cool wind creates a reaction so I start to sneeze and my nose starts to run. It's absurd in a way. So my take on the wind is of course double, but I think I like it more. But what about you? Because on the one hand I guess the wind will sort of cast away all the rubbish that gathers on top of your needles or branches and also break away old dead parts, but on the other hand wind is the real danger for you. Maybe not here because you're in the valley and the wind is probably not very strong here, but I remember all the pine trees I met in the archipelago. Some of them were really heavily bent and twisted really, because they were broken by the wind, and then continued growing from their broken position and so on. So my question for today is simply: How do you feel about the wind? - Yes, of course, I didn't think of it. Of course the wind is your friend because it distributes your pollen and it's really necessary for your reproduction. So although your pinecones are transported by animals probably more, even though perhaps with wind as well to some extent, but the pollen dispersal is of course with wind. So maybe the wind is like a double, has a double effect for you as well, both benign and danger at some point. And of course that's with everything; there is nothing that is only good or only bad I suppose. Alright, thanks for today and have a nice evening, bye.

Buongiorno Pino, good morning. It's early morning, 8.20 or something like that on Sunday morning. I had the impulse to come and visit you on my morning walk simply to see you in a different light. And sure, sun from the east makes you look different from the street here down below. I didn't plan any question because this idea to come to you was a sudden impulse, but because it's morning I could ask you about sleep. I'm reading a book by Spanish researcher Calvo, I think his name is, and he tells about an experiment to anaesthesize plants, to use the same chemical that you put animals and humans to sleep. And you can make plants too, to stop all their activities. But in time in terms of sort of regular day-to-day activities, do you really rest in the night? Or is it only that you rest because there is no light so the photosynthesis will be on a pause or slower? Or do you really sort of take a break, something that we could call asleep? -- Well yes, I guess it's a stupid question, because of course you rest when you need to rest, but why would you sleep in the same way as animals do. But of course you rest when it's dark so, and now you're you're busy and awake because the sun is here. So have a great day and let's hope it's not too hot.

Buonasera Pino, good evening. It's later than usual and cooler and there is less light because the sun is lower. This is my next to last visit to you because I'm leaving soon. And I thought about what to ask you. I've been working on an old text regarding utopias or yeah, imagining future possibilities, and I thought about what kind of, what kind of dreams you have if you have dreams, if you have a wishes, if you have hopes. Human beings tend to think of themselves as very special, as the only ones with consciousness, as the only ones with language, as the only ones with imagination and so on. And of course you probably don't think in terms of utopias or future possibilities in that sense, but I'm sure you might be able to plan or prefer, and maybe even imagine somehow. So what would your ideal future be? -- Yeah, maybe that's a stupid question. The answer is somehow self- evident. I guess that you would like to live in plenty and in peace and be able to grow and reproduce and enjoy the full capacity of your way of living without any extra dangers or disturbances or but maybe some challenges or I don't know. That's what all living beings want to do, live their life to their full capacity, I guess. Well, thank you anyway and have a good night.

Buonasera Pino, good evening or good afternoon. It's around 5.30 but it feels like midday. The Sun is burning hot. This is one of the hottest days today, supposed to be 41° in the afternoon. I'm leaving tomorrow morning and this is my last visit to you. And of course, egocentric as I am, I would like to ask you for advice. So, what would be your advice for a restless, mobile human like me? What would be your words for the journey, my remaining journey, if you wish, based on your expertise and experience and long life? --  Well, as always, I hear what I want to hear or I hear what I'm able to hear, and I hear that you suggest that I should keep awake and keep my eyes and ears and senses open and react to changes in my circumstances and act accordingly and keep growing. And of course that's a good advice. So thank you for that and thank you for these moments and all the best for the rest of the summer and the coming years. Thank you.