For 'A Thought on Observing Time, 2006'
One day during the winter, when the first spring wind was strongly shaking naked trees, I was looking at the skies whose sizes were changing when seen from within the wood, which was located in front of my house and it looked as if it might have been an isolated island. This coppice might perhaps have been a large wood a hundred years ago but now it is destined to end its great life soon. I have heard that plants can understand our words. If this is true, the waving tree arms might have been a gesture expressing their farewell to me, as they had known me since I was little.
I really find it very difficult to remember something that has already gone, and standing on a big stump, I look up at the sky that has become bigger than before. This large grass-covered plain does not remind me of the previously dense wood. The stumps spread here and there like floating stones across the green carpet; they are now the gravestones of the trees. Beautiful ripples are inscribed in the stumps as if they were wrinkles seen on the face of an old man who had lived a very long time. A world unknown to me has been locked up in the centre of a time capsule. Anyone who knows the origin of this stump has gone and before long there will be nobody who remembers the wood. Once it has been forgotten by everybody's mind, the true end will come.
What kind of world did the old wood see one hundred years ago when it was born? A hermetic time that nobody knows now. I have sealed into this small world everything of the tree together with its ripple, that is the last one and it will no longer spread. This microcosm in my hands reminds me of pieces of kaleidoscopic memories that were scattered in the eyes of my soul, and it will forever be a key to creating beautiful nostalgic reminiscences in my mind.
We will not hear the live sounds of beating from the seeds that you sowed so long ago, I know not when. Standing in the same place, but a place that has been so much changed, I just thought of this. I will never forget the days when I played in the great and soft world. The key that all of you and I have created will forever cause us always to remember.
Forever and ever… Farewell to the wood of Otsuka.
Masaaki Ohya on the 20th of November, 2006