Please, keep in mind: the Forest Journal is a ten-year project; the views and approaches from early issues can be discarded in later ones.
It is possible that authors nowadays do not support their statements from previous phases. We have made a tricky journey.
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Issue № 5
October 2014

Events Barrens ... and Badlands Near, Far Away


It seems behind the trees — water.
The wasp fell into the web but got out.
The black dog coursing there, through corn and stubble.
Flies like white.
Wow, has the fir cone opened up?


Nature often baffles its lovers, and here is how.

On the one hand, it is uniform and boundless: wherever you look, everywhere is the same. But if you only come closer as this canvas quickly crumbles into a burst of scattered, singular entities.

You have to toss between these two layers of nature, drawing connections. Your head is spinning.

But another way is possible. Take two steps back, catch your breath and try again.

Overgrowths were the first to be described in the Forest Journal. They are the primary substance of nature, which obscures all the most fascinating with its serenity. But how would it be without overgrowths?

A barren is waiting for us.

Where the overgrowth had failed, cleared space, disintegrated and retreated, the barren is revealed.

Barrens have the same characteristics as overgrowths: they take up space, have a border, and are homogeneous.

These matches are easy to explain: both overgrowths and barrens fill the place and inherit its border. The uniformity of barrens is also understandable: the remains are like predecessors.

If the barren is so similar to the overgrowth, what new can be seen in it?

Now you should rummage through clean bones since detailed flesh no longer interferes.

Still nothing intriguing there.

But the barren is not just a vanished overgrowth. There is something special about it.

Inside the overgrowth, the quiet and stuffy haze of nature reigns. Around — an invisible wall firmly puts the curious in their place: to the edge of a cut.

The barren breaths wide and peacefully. It invokes sights, thoughts, touches. The world, enchanted by overgrowths, revives and raises its head. Tricks are over: a human being can speak with nature on an equal footing.

The free sky was reflected by the transparent barren, and everything became lucid.

So lucid that doubt arrives about approaching nature through a roundabout way of barrens. Is nature still here at all? Somewhere on the horizon, pushed out?

You just have to wait for a little.

Calm satisfaction will be replaced by a thrilling, uncomfortable shiver.

It will become chilly between the skies and the barren, and a soft fire will glow inside.

Licking, playful, pulling, demanding fire. Like an angel, a dick, or a worm.

It is called a barren's decoy.

We are here for it.

How does the barren's decoy operate?

In barrens, nature recedes. But not beyond the borders of the place, not somewhere far away.

Now it hides right there, shapeless, escaped from the tight shell of overgrowths, their excesses and concealments. It becomes a buzzing cloud and protrudes playful feelers.

Now one of the barren's tongues anchors inside a human being. Meets and fondles a quirky resonating unit.

Now, in the barren, you can directly feel nature — because it already looks for a meeting, lures, prepares a trap.

Though, know: this impossible shiver cannot be carried away from the barren.

Scheme of action of the barren's decoy. The human being is highlighted in yellow.


By artist Anastasia Tailakova

Near, Far Away

Dawn was lost in the impenetrable night wastelands, where the unfriendly wind was in charge. Levitan was seized with fear.

Konstantin Paustovsky

Following the silent call, people are looking for barrens in various places. These searches can bring exciting and encouraging intel.

Among many enthusiastic titles addressed to Levitan by his contemporaries, there are two of interest. The first is that the master's works, even when filled with sunlight, are covered with a film of sadness and melancholy. The second is that the painter had a unique flair allowing him to go beyond the surface of nature, referring to its essence.

It is worth recognizing that the nature depicted by the painter looks as if, at any moment, it can be pulled off like a tablecloth from the table, and something else will be found behind it, far from being so lovely. "By the Pool" clearly reveals a simple intuition: there is a barren behind every overgrowth.

It is the barren that quietly vibrates in Levitan's landscapes, ready at any moment to overturn willows, withered weeds, and cozy lilacs into a black absence. You just need to listen carefully: the barren is always there and ready to ignite its decoy.

If sensitive Levitan demonstrates: the barren can be found nearby, anywhere; another approach claims the opposite — for a wholesome barren, you will have to make an endless journey.

This journey, of course, must be cosmic. Far, deep, dead, cold space has an irresistible attraction. And not as a source of exotic discoveries and adventures — but a free, ample place for even distance from annoying overgrowths.

Described in various creations of different genres, such space travel rejects the point of arrival (including in the form of death) or plans for return. It swears to eternal wandering in the boundless abyss (best of all, in a state of hibernation). It is difficult to imagine the barren's decoy expressed in a more concentrated form.

One day, space wanderers will set off on this path for real and tell what precisely inside a human being seeks to touch the tentacles of nature.

The cover art of one of the music albums by the "Darkspace" collective.


While the weather is pleasant, go to the forest, the field. Set fire to dry grass or fallen wood. Make sure you burn enough. Take a piece of coal or ashes as a keepsake. Try to always carry it with you.

Dear readers!

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The Forest Journal is initiated and supported by Ilia Dolgov More details at the front page.

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