Letter to Monty 28

Dear Monty,

Damien Hirst, my sin and the garden.

Damien Hirst : clever really this play on our mortality - life death life death - inescapable cycle. The green neon pharmacy cross - symbol of the salvation of our bodies, the preservation of function through the use of drugs. Brightly coloured pills brightly coloured dots - eye candy to brighten the souls journey.

There is a kind of vacuum. We cannot grasp life or death, it just happens.

Friends who we haven't seen for 10 years, artist friends, visited us last weekend. Ruth said that their lives had not turned out the way they thought they would, and this is the way life is, a struggle sometimes. Even when life is not a struggle in physical or financial terms - there is still a question mark. Damien with his great wealth (which is used not just for himself) cannot secure anything - he cannot guarantee life or escape death - and so wealth is in that sense meaningless. Meaningless meaningless everything is meaningless said the teacher, except that in the living we can with our eyes open see beauty in the simple things, in landscape in gardens in the kind acts of friends.

My sin. Achan hid away 'stuff ' in his tent, stuff was meant to be in his past - his new life didn't need stuff, this is why Achan's sin is my sin. I don't need idols but I still search them out, I don't need to cower down in the shadow of knowledge but I still do. I don't need to lust, but I still do. Stuff slows me down spiritually. There is a life which is deeper than all those superficial things.

The garden looks more Italian in my minds eye than ever with its shrubs repeated, pots in rows, the beech hedge as a baffle, a foil, and since cleaning the paving - a white terrace reminiscent of marble. (This is all in my fantasy world you understand) Cheap plastic pots hold the trees that form a line down to the arbour, as terracotta is too expensive for our small budget, they fracture anyway in this cold garden, cold and damp in winter - even when frost proof and stood on feet. Having said that the plastic pots are degrading in a pleasing terracotta like way.

Tonight my friend Myf, gave me a lovely gift of postcards of some of Hockney's paintings from his recent show...see what I mean about the small kind acts of friends.

See you soon Monty.


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