I’ve been writing landscape adventure stories the past couple years, and in a strange fashion, the narrators of each story have taught me new perceptions of landscape architecture and design.
For example, the narrator of Crystal Vision explained to me that landscape harbors danger for humans and that garden is safe and primarily provides for quiet introspection and also for active and regular energy exchange. The narrator explained further that both landscape and garden are deficient if not dominated by plants sustained by adequate water.
Yeah, it did make sense to me, anyone else agree?
This was the very definition of paradise, wasn’t it, in its original Persian context — the shady garden cooled by gentle breezes, an oasis of calm where the soul would be soothed by exquisite perfumes and plants and by the gentle sounds of water in a fountain.
Indeed–human life needs comforting.
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Re: “landscape harbors danger for humans and that garden is safe” … an interesting thought but not one I agree with. Part of the reason humans have wrought such destruction on natural areas is for this very reason — things we fear or fail to understand pose a threat so they must be erased or tamed. Gardens, on the other hand, are things we can control. The wildness has been eradicated. And that, it seems, is the bottom line. We don’t like surprises. Landscapes — “wild” areas (if such things even exist any more) — offer so much more. We have mostly forgotten that such places are wired into us, they are where we originated. We think of ourselves as so advanced — look at our addiction to technology. And yet we are starving ourselves in our desire for more and better and faster. “Forest bathing” is an example of just how far we have drifted — imagine people being encouraged to get out into nature, to walk among trees, to reconnect with non-human life. This would be hilarious if it weren’t so terribly sad. I’m fortunate to live in a small corner of “landscape”, with all the many and varied life forms that call that it home, from bears and moose to moths and mice, from towering spruce and aspen to tiny orchids. Yes, I have a garden which brings me enjoyment and food. But the woods are where I choose to be. They are what sustains me.
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