What Ancient Looks Like in Trees and People

Our friend Chris Eldredge emailed us this image:

A good friend of mine is in Japan researching Bonsai culture. He sent this picture to me today. This tree is over 2000 years old. He spent some time yesterday talking to the man whose family has cared for it for 7 generations.

That same day, we came upon Anastasia Pottinger photographs of people 100+-years-old, nude. From The Dish:

The series began when a 101-year-old woman volunteered to model nude for Pottinger, under one condition: that she not be identified by name in any of the photographs. “It was merely an exercise in documenting her form in a beautiful way,” Pottinger writes in her artist statement. “She was willing to do anything I asked of her.”

Anastasia Pottinger

Anastasia Pottinger

Reviewing the images on her computer later, Pottinger was so moved as to want to continue the project. She says responses to the series have been “remarkable”: “Whether it’s wondering, ‘Is this what I’m going to look like?’ or remembering a loved one, the response seems to be universally emotional on some level,” she writes. Pottinger is currently recruiting willing models who’ve lived into the triple digits on her website.

We too find the her images very moving, in part because of the candor and courage of these ancient people, allowing themselves to be photographed nude when societal taboos demand hiding the changes that take place in all of us. Their BEING is there full-force as their exteriors show the signs of very long lives transmuted by Nature. We can only imagine their stories.

These haiku somehow seems somehow apt…

        The world of dew
is the world of dew.
       And yet, and yet—

 

  I go
you stay;
     two autumns.

 

      Another year gone—
hat in my hand,
      sandals on my feet.

 

See more of Pottinger’s photographers here.

Haiku from top down by Issa, Buson,  Basho, from The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa 

With thanks to Chris Eldredge

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