Monday, April 17, 2006


I find views like this irresistible. They are not uncommon, though I don't think we make them any more.

It is a contemplative space. Although there is movement along the borders and they are anything but trimmed, the gravel path and the vase and plinth bring it all to a focus and an equilibrium. There is variety and motion, but around a still centre. It is controlled but not dead. It is balanced.

This is an image of the Enlightenment values over which so much heat has been generated in the debate on Islam. It is an image that I think the Umayyads of Southern Spain would have understood. For both them and the men of the Enlightenment, it would have expressed confidence that they had the instruments to deal with whatever the world threw at them, and to do so with calm and ...balance.

I took this today (overcast and a bit damp) at Biddulph Grange Gardens in Staffordshire.

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