The Hughsletter #85 – The Fourth Dimension

Good Morning!

Spring is coming, which for me means more time in the garden.

I don’t remember who said it – probably lots of people have – but gardening is work in four dimensions: You have the regular three, plus time. The work you do today is unfinished, but time will complete it for you.

The bed of flowers looks scrubby now, but will fill in. The freshly pruned tree looks like the survivor of a war. The lawn you plant today will take three years to be a bed of thick sod. But here’s the deal – to get what you want, you have to see it not as it is, but as it could be, in time. You have to see a future that does not yet exist and do work now to bring that future into being, while knowing all the while that a goodly portion of the end result is based on chance. You can do everything right and a fluke snowstorm or flood can wipe it all out.

That is what I love so much about gardening – it trains your brain to see in four dimensions. And to not be too tied to outcomes, since we don’t have a lot of control over that anyway. 

Here are five things I thought were beautiful:

  1. They are called foredge paintings – painted pictures hidden on page edges in really old books.
  2. Architecture student Adelina Gareeva does amazingly detailed freehand drawings of famous buildings (Her Instagram account is pretty amazing, too).
  3. Mark Mawson captures the unfolding of oil-based dye in water. His short Instagram clips (like this one) are captivating.
  4. Mixed-Media papercrafts is a mouthful, but these models made by Lisa Lloyd are nothing short of spectacular.
  5. This short video of Oregon landscapes was shot with infrared film that was then converted, which gives it a hyper-realistic look that is near-magical.

What I’m Reading:

I love the English detective stories of Colin Dexter, with their curmudgeonly protagonist Inspector Morse. Set in Oxford, England, they are cerebral and yet still witty. Sadly, Dexter only wrote 13 novels (all of which I have read), but this week I came across this volume, which contains a few short stories that feature Morse. You have no idea how happy it made me, or how much I enjoyed the few hours I was lost in them.

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Take care of yourself, and each other.

Hugh Hollowell
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