We measure love, round here, on the Kitchen Scale: a practical method for swiftly and accurately finding out your feelings for a person. Pick a person. Imagine, now, that you are in their kitchen, alone. How comfortable are you? Have you been there before? Do you know them well enough to make yourself a cup of tea? A sandwich? A full-scale meal? Could you make yourself a meal? Would you open their fridge? Would you start digging in the Coco Pops packet? Would you want to? Would they mind?
Language is a map leading to a place not on the map.
∆ Simon Van Booy, from The Presence of Absence (Godine, 2022)
(6) Nietzsche On Gardening
Today, I had my favorite class. Philosophies of Inquiry. One of the article quoted Nietzsche:
"Out of damp and gloomy days, out of solitude, out of loveless words directed at us, conclusions grow up in us like fungus: one morning they are there, we know not how, and they gaze upon us, morose and gray. Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him!"
Like Nietzsche, I am confronted with these growing new ideas, emerging from the intersection of my life as an artist and farmer - who returned to academia to pursue a new discipline without any prior training or immersion.
But I am grateful, because perhaps the most important thing, I learned about literacy is its expanse, its seemingly endless possibilities. It is a wast field, and I know, I believe that I'll have at least a small plot here, where I can grow something nourishing or at least aesthetically pleasing.
Nietzsche’s warning is also an invitation to realize that our ideas need skillful tending and care in order to harvest their full potentials. As I examine my spacious “garden of ideas,” thanks to my outstanding professors and scholars - I also recognize the need to reach out to others, to assemble a team of “gardeners” to engage and to cultivate this growth, so I myself don’t settle for radical conclusions that limits the possibility of a greater harvest.