I'm afraid I have nothing of my own to offer up here. I was struck by the intersection of recent posts from two seemingly unconnected bloggers in the communities of gardening and Brooklyn, from Garden Rant and Blather in Brooklyn.
Yesterday, from Garden Rant:
In the archaeological museum in Naples, I learned something else about how the ancient Romans gardened--with loads of erotic art. For over 200 years, one of the great embarrassments of the excavation of Pompeii and Herculaneum--another ancient city in the Bay of Naples buried in ash at the same moment--were all the dirty things that were dug up.And I just read today, from Blather in Brooklyn:
- Sex in the Garden
When the [Salon des Refusés] opened, Manet’s painting [Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass)] caused a public outcry. The critics were not offended by the nudity, but by the fact that the nudes had no supernatural or religious connotations; rather, they were shown as real people, modern, recognizable Parisians enjoying what appeared to be a bawdy, drunken picnic on the grass.Definitely visit both blogs to read the full posts.
- Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe
Gardening in the nude would not present my neighbors with the sensual delights presented by Manet and the artists of Pompeii, so I shouldn't start now. Despite my modesty and discretion, nature and gardens have always been sensual experiences for me.
Biophilia is strong in me. Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses spoke to me like many others.
One of my earliest memories comes from outside a school playground. The maple tree there was surrounded by fallen leaves, crisp and brilliant. I stood among them, holding one particularly colorful leaf, examining it until a teacher broke my trance.
I have an earlier memory of sitting in the garden on the side of our first house. I pulled up almost all the baby carrots, grabbing their leaves and eating them right there, dirt and all. In my mind, the whole scene is illuminated by the filtered green light from the sun shining through the tomato plants towering over me.
I'm not always conscious of it, but when I garden, I engage and satiate all my senses. I garden to be surrounded by nature, to welcome it to me, to lose myself in it. The taste of Nasturiums, the movement and rustling of grasses, the shades of green in a single Hosta leaf, the perfume of rosemary, the songs of catbirds and cicadas. These ephemeral moments are why I garden.