June 01, 2016 @ 12:49 CET

Dear Ivan,

How I get up there in my tree top is indeed a mystery, most of all to myself… but I’m fine with that, as long as it keeps on happening. Up in that tree looking out, I find little more than a vague hint in the distance, and there need not be more. These few seconds of squinting, looking forward and looking back at the same time, maybe seeing, mostly not seeing. My reward is not the seeing, but simply being allowed to be there in the first place. How many others never ever get to climb a single tree.

Two years ago I was a dog. Then I was in a tree top and saw that the images I’d been making for years weren’t connected to what I had set out to talk about. It was agonising. Amputation. I had literally lost my words. I had to start again, navigate my own images all over again. I learned.

So I touch wood every time. And get the courage to jump. “Unsure but acting anyway” is a very apt description. There’s always this little thing that suddenly decides to push me. There’s never anything holding me back, yet I do take my reality into account in earnest. Is it instinct? Even though I make mistakes all the time, this little thing hasn’t failed me yet. I hope it never will.

It’s like your detail of the wall: I know it’s a detail of a wall, and I am content knowing that I might never be able to see or grasp the entire wall. I can climb that wall, and I might be off by a little, or by a lot. And along the way I’ll only be able to look closely at the details in front of me and climb. The only certainty is that I know there’s a wall, and that I’m moving. I might not ever reach anything. 

Do you have this little thing inside that makes you jump, this little thing not caring how your life looks like or if you’re unsure? Are you unsure at all? Maybe you’re sure. I’ve met many who are, maybe most. Or maybe you’ve mastered tree climbing, and were able to build a little home up there. 

You know, with a cosy fireplace and a tea kettle. 

/// #image_by_image is an ongoing conversation between photographers Ivan Sigal and Anton Kusters@ivansigal @antonkusters on Instagram ///