Welcome to the ‘The Foraging’ Blog where I will give voice to my ideas, ponderings, and inspirations that inform my creations. I will start the first post with a palpable source that nearly always inspires my paintbrush: the metaphor of humans as tangled gardens.
I often think of a tangled garden as the mesmerising metaphor for the inner life of humans. When we explore a lush, tangled garden we find satisfaction and joy in its imperfections, not despite them. We don’t go in wondering why the ferns aren’t cultivated into a perfect line formation, why the path isn’t smooth and pointing in one direction, or why the rocks aren’t formed symmetrically like a manicured garden; we welcome these mysteries! Instead, we accept that everything is working in harmony to create that beauty. The rotted branch now becomes a bridge across a stream. The fallen leaves are left to be picked up by the birds for nesting. Meanwhile, deep within the dirt and working behind the scenes, insects crawl and fly, working steadfastly in symbiosis and in service of the thriving greenery and blooms. The creepy crawlers which we have come to despise are necessary for the beauty of the garden to thrive. If we don’t welcome and respect their presence and role in the process, we can expect the beauty they help create to die with them.
When we apply this metaphor to the complexity of the way we navigate our lives, I note that we have disregarded intuition and emotion as sinister, just like the creepy crawlers. This is a disservice for even though we need our reason and intellect, intuition (our inner compass) can guide us to our most natural, wild state where we can thrive best in both decision making and creativity. A devaluation such as this is akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Albert Einstein once said something along the lines of “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift."
Women have long held the crown for being emotional and intuitive, though the stigma wears more like a dunce cap for those that find it admirable to suppress feminine qualities such as dreaming, creativity, openness, and nurturing (Blackie, 2016). This disconnect is paralleled with our dysfunctional relationship with ecosystems in nature that we humans are destroying despite our dependence on them for sustenance. It’s quite counterintuitive when instead we ought to be valuing and nurturing nature, inside and out. I hope you'll join me on this journey as I investigate and navigate the wild paths of our human tangled garden.