23 June 2009

A word of warning...

...to anyone tempted to take this blog full of bright ideas too seriously:

When we live in the basement, it is probably impossible to conceive of what life might be like were we to live on the garden floor (American first floor, English ground floor).

On the garden floor, we might venture out through a patio door, over the threshold, and into the garden. But, whether within or without, we wouldn't be able to see over the well-established yew hedge into the countryside beyond the garden. So, as far as we know, from the perspective of a ground floor dweller, the extent of the world is the end of our garden.


From a cellar-dweller's point of view, were we to imaginatively project or extrapolate what the world could be like beyond our cellar, beyond our own direct experience, we might conclude that it is dark, damp, and that the earth is covered in concrete.

From a garden-floor dweller's point of view, were we to imaginatively project or extrapolate what the universebeyond our garden might be like, we would probably conclude that "it's like our garden, but bigger".

Until we move upstairs we don't / won't have a broad enough area of vision, seeing, or simply enough data, to be able to venture anything more than an underinformed & seriously compromised subjective projection / opinion.

If I live in the cellar, and haven't visited upstairs, I will probably conclude that a garden (if I have somehow learnt of such a concept) is just like my basement floor, a stretch of concrete, but greener. The sun is like my spotlight, but much brighter (I hope not too much brighter, because it'll hurt my eyes). The wind is like a fan, but with a greater variation of speeds.

In my cellar, because I have spent a lot of time thinking about all manner of important things, I have some valuable opinions about gardening and how to improve the operating procedures of gardeners. After all, they've been too busy gardening to learn what I know, just by thinking.

Perhaps, in my basement, I have a cellar-dweller's computer. I log on to several gardening sites and know lots and lots of Latin names for plants. I may never have known the fragrance of a rose, but I know long names for several of them! Like, Rosa Gallica Officinalis & Rosa Dopus Pratticus.

But a gardener knows the fragrance of a rose, with eyes closed. This fragrance is impermanent, yet eternal. A nose knows a rose knows a rose.

(source) Once more I give my thanks to people who've gone "there" before and have helpful advice for those prone to dreaming that they're awake.