Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The garden: "an intimate invitation to great ideas."

The transient 'Dew Garden', Shropshire
I've a short introduction to Philosophy in the Garden over the Readings website, in their popular 'Story of My Book' series. A sample:
Importantly, gardens need not be grand or traditional to offer... intellectual gifts. Marcel Proust, for example, at one point kept a bonsai next to his bed: in his mind, it became “a vast forest, stretching down to a river, in which children could lose their way.” This principle works for pelargoniums in a courtyard, succulents on a desk: with a little patience and imagination, what’s small and seemingly banal can be extraordinary.

Ultimately, what unites the authors portrayed in Philosophy in the Garden is not any one ideal, but a devotion to the garden itself: to its philosophical fertility. Despite being bookworms and paper moths, they did some of their best thinking al fresco. (Even Jean-Paul Sartre, whose hero in Nausea was sickened by a chestnut tree.) And this rare collaborator exists, not in some utopian land, but in our own backyards, in nearby parks, or in a terracotta pot on a porch. 
The garden is an intimate invitation to great ideas.
If you're keen, do drop in to one of Readings' six shops, or buy the Book.ish ebook here.

(Photo: www.cntraveller.com)

1 comment:

aquaduck said...

Maybe what we see as small & banal really is extraordinary, maybe it’s our value system that is out of whack due to the business of life, lost connections & self-importance.

With the pace & process of the botanical & the wonders it beholds it is little wonder that it captures our thoughts, imagination, devotion & romance. We may think we are doing all the thinking but maybe the botanic is deserving of some influence.

It has been recorded that Jesus speaking about his crucifixion said “ For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”Luke 23:31