"As landscape all events surround us, for we, the time of things, know no time."—Walter Benjamin
My period was nearly two weeks late, so I gave in and took a pregnancy test. An hour later, cramps hit as I was walking the mountain, glum as fuck. To my astonishment, I wanted a child. Already the idea was transforming me: the sorrows and terrors of my childhood seemed faraway while the future appeared novel, even as climate change ravages this world and a nuclear winter looms.
Anyways (spare a thought for the pang between the previous period and that anyways) on that walk, I cheered up at the sight of primroses in an otherwise flower-free countryside, nestled in a ditch on one lonesome road. Later I looked at more flowers, captured in my birth-year by Australian artist Brett Whiteley in a lithograph entitled View of the garden. It depicts a table, set with flowers and breakfast, beside a window framing the view of a garden—a lush riot of foliage. I love the simplicity of the black lines on ivory paper. The scene is poignant; the artist had died young from a heroin overdose. After his death, his ex-wife, ‘feeling very anguished in life’, created a famed guerrilla garden from wasteland: a magical space of winding paths, hidden nooks, ‘joyful’ sculptures, and perfumed canopies. I think of both lithograph and garden as landscapes of grace created between the difficult and terrible moments that accumulate in life.