The Garden of Earthly Delights


In Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych the Garden of Earthly Delights (c. 1504) three worlds exist simultaneously: idyllic harmony, earthly human indulgence, and chaotic hell.  It’s a metaphor for the world that we currently inherit.  Everything is ever-present, there to call forth or call upon, depending on what design we wish to enact.  It’s humanity’s choice for which structure to be akin to. With little horizon or movement in the painting there is no conclusion.  It’s not going anywhere, it’s frozen in time.  Then again, it’s just a painting and real life is much more exciting.

WE are going somewhere.  There is a movement and a place to find ourselves.  Growth, repair and change are apparent in the world as in our bodies.  We can regenerate, design and construct.  It’s the creative and erotic (not necessarily sexual) existence on this planet that excites us to select, arrange and associate worldly components (plants? water? soil? words? paint?) into a structure that is harmonious with the patterns of the universe.  What a gift.  We get to build with what is around us.  A utopia may never be reached, but it a goal to strive for.  As David puts it, it’s about the journey.