Book of Gardens

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I've noticed on acid particularly the world becomes incredibly symbolic
I've noticed this too, it's part of the "everything is imbued with meaning" effects, yeah? Or like, you can feel actively all the possible layers you might interpret something (an object, a person, a situation) as—the symbolic/archetypal, the near/the far, the sympathetic/the unsympathetic, the historic/the contemporary
 

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Some of the stories in 1001 Nights may have been variations on the legend of the Old Man of The Mountains, Hassan-i-Sabbah, and his "garden of paradise" where he allegedly placed drugged youth to trick them into killing on command on the promise that one day they would return there

from The Old Man of the Mountain by C E Nowell
This is a time-tested way of getting everyday people to do heinous things, you imbue them with a sense of utopia, you give them an eschatology (conservatives), or (liberals) a sense of History, which bends a certain direction divinely; future generations will recognize that you were righteous and maligned; the ends justifies the means, etc
 

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The gardener cares and cultivates. He stays put on his patch of land and fosters it. If he leaves, it is only briefly, to bring in necessary materials from the outside. He watches his garden nervously, watches the weather, the rolling clouds, the dry spells, the cold snaps, with anxiety. Karel Čapek—born in the Bohemian mountains, science fiction author, museum founder, inventor of worlds, coiner of “robot,” expelled from school for anarchist politics, an admirer of Cubism—writes in Gardener’s Year: “There is something peculiar about the weather; it is never quite right. Weather always shoots over the mark on one side or the other. The temperature never reaches the hundred years’ normal; it is either five degrees below or five degrees above. Rainfall is either ten millimetres below the average or twenty millimetres above; if it is not too dry, it is inevitably too wet.”
 

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As with all men, the gardener calms these anxieties through divination and magic—the attempt to discern the world through signs, and the attempt to alter the world through signs. (Reading, writing.) The true gardener is a constant gardener, and with investment comes fretting and a pathetic proselytization. The dignity of the self is of no value compared to the well-being of the garden, a calculus which everywhere drives parents to ignore embarrassment for the sake of offspring. (An eternal tao: Losing worry but keeping care; stoic acceptance that preserves its ambition; ditching stress but retaining an edge.)
 

Benny B

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How about this rather different poetical view of the garden as a stultifying place?

Sheltered Garden​

BY H. D.
I have had enough.
I gasp for breath.

Every way ends, every road,
every foot-path leads at last
to the hill-crest—
then you retrace your steps,
or find the same slope on the other side,
precipitate.

I have had enough—
border-pinks, clove-pinks, wax-lilies,
herbs, sweet-cress.

O for some sharp swish of a branch—
there is no scent of resin
in this place,
no taste of bark, of coarse weeds,
aromatic, astringent—
only border on border of scented pinks.

Have you seen fruit under cover
that wanted light—
pears wadded in cloth,
protected from the frost,
melons, almost ripe,
smothered in straw?

Why not let the pears cling
to the empty branch?
All your coaxing will only make
a bitter fruit—
let them cling, ripen of themselves,
test their own worth,
nipped, shrivelled by the frost,
to fall at last but fair
with a russet coat.

Or the melon—
let it bleach yellow
in the winter light,
even tart to the taste—
it is better to taste of frost—
the exquisite frost—
than of wadding and of dead grass.

For this beauty,
beauty without strength,
chokes out life.
I want wind to break,
scatter these pink-stalks,
snap off their spiced heads,
fling them about with dead leaves—
spread the paths with twigs,
limbs broken off,
trail great pine branches,
hurled from some far wood
right across the melon-patch,
break pear and quince—
leave half-trees, torn, twisted
but showing the fight was valiant.

O to blot out this garden
to forget, to find a new beauty
in some terrible
wind-tortured place.
 

catalog

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"Walled garden" was a bit of buzz phrase a few years back wasn't it, in ref to fb particularly. Now twitter too is a walled garden
 

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Often, this settling of the wild is combined with—comes after—the hero’s disappointed retvrn, the home no longer a home. It isn’t that the hero has tired of gardens—he has tired of other people’s gardens—sick, that is, of being parented. The home was made for the child; the child changed, became adult and the home no longer fits; the adult must build a new home.
 

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The switch from adventure to garden is a growing up. The hero sets out as mere witness, but is forced into acting. Reader becomes writer.
 

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On return, hero testifies to the history of his vision. But even in his adventurers he is an experiencer of the world; he is the beneficiary of what already grows. A raider, a grazer, his debt is only paid in death, returning his minerals to dirt.
 

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Robert Pogue Harrison:
If he had wanted to make Adam and Even keepers of the garden, God should have created them as caretakers; instead he created them as beneficiaries, deprived of the commitment that drives a gardener to keep his or her garden. It would seem that it was precisely this overprotection on God’s part that caused Adam and Eve to find themselves completely defenseless when it came to the serpent’s blandishments... It was only by leaving the Garden of Eden behind that they could realize their potential to become cultivators and givers, instead of mere consumers and receivers.
 

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So it is with all succession problems. The pampering of the child undermines the child’s ability to overcome trial. Because he has never been exposed to wilderness, he never learns to domesticate it.

So it is with all alignment problems—the conditions made the father; the father changes conditions; the conditions make the son.
 

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The garden is founded, like all agriculture, on the distinction between weed and cultivar. The distinction is nowhere to be found in nature; it is a pragmatic distinction, a measure made by man for man. (More Heraclitus.)
 

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The cultivars are of use; they are affordances in the games man plays against nature, against rival men. The weeds threaten the cultivars, obstacles to thriving. (Or else are merely unsightly, an aesthetic cull.)

Do you see, the same selection process that is performed by the semi-permeable boundary, is also performed by the weeding gardener?
 

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But the selection pressure (curation) we exert on the weed-cultivar distinction ushers in a process of mimicry. In weeding out, a new cultivar is born. Rye was once inedible, a wild weed; that rye which looked least like wheat culled, and that which most resembled it to a farmer’s eye spared by oversight, so that over centuries of agriculture surviving rye strands began to look more and more like wheat; the mimic, at last took on enough properties of its model to become a proper cereal.

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