Think of this: remove yourself entirely from your current life, your environment and the people you know. Start a new life in a new environment with new friends. Are you the same person? Are you completely unchanged by a completely changed environment? It is the old question of nature versus nurture, heredity versus environment and it is the question I ask today. It has been on my mind for a few weeks where I have possibly had far too much time to think while being under the weather.
I contemplate this question as I have arrived in Copenhagen after 7 months. I now have two environments and two sets of friends, two lives that I live in two different languages. It is sometimes slightly surreal and I wonder; am I the same person in both lives? It has not always been so, but now I feel that I basically am and have learned to be a core me no matter what the environment. Still, there is really no way of knowing as the two lives do not overlap and it is two different languages so I will naturally express myself differently, both in language and in the images that I capture. It is an interesting journey and way of living but not better nor worse, simply another way of living. The answers I find are answers for me and my life. Lives that does at times ask the question of nature versus nurture.
Why I chose to develop this particular image for this story is unclear. I loved Tree of Life, this dead tree is the very counterpart. Perhaps a never changing dead tree in an almost static environment tells the story by showing the opposite. This dead can only exist here in a zero humidity desert leaving the tree as a dry statue. This image from Namibia in April 2009 represents the beginning of my present life, more than two years of ever changing environments.
Who am I? One thing is certain, I am now a Tree of life compared to this dead tree from the beginning of my journey.