The maddening wine and Christ in the garden of confusion


Sometimes I get lost among the trees in the forest of opinion.

Trees of different colour, size and shape; some barbed and tangled, others tall and straight. All trees, yes but all an expression of difference.

There is a multiplicity of opinions, views and beliefs. The human mind is an incredible source of invention and creativity as well as one of hatred and mistrust. It is this forested garden of contradictions I push through almost daily. My mind is sometimes a confused garden, that is the truth.

This confusion has recently been mirrored in debates on what gardening TV should look like. I'm glad the debate is happening, but am worried that the simplicity of being in contact with natural things, and marking the seasons which I think GW does well may become lost. I'm glad you replied so succinctly on and appreciate how hard it is to cater for so many different tastes and views. It is their multiplicity which is so bewildering, we all need roots to anchor us in this constantly shifting landscape.

Being a faith based person I know that my views may appear one dimensional, but I don't want to be a whitewashed sepulchre. I have doubts, huge doubts, and failings which burden my conscious mind. When I walk out of the tangled wood into a clearing of daylight and soft grasses, I suddenly see what a fool of a man I am.

Many people are writing about the meaning of Christmas at this time and are frankly much better at it than me, but what I'm still discovering about myself and faith in Christ is both exciting and challenging and raises more questions in the mind - and that is the point, it is the mind where all the confusion of thoughts has its seat.

There was a point in Judaic scriptural history where confusion was brought in to prevent us having a mind like God and it is this that distracts our hearts from resting in the garden. I think the internet speeds up that process. We once found rest in ritual and in priests and confession, this is gradually being eroded and instead we fill the gaps with stuff, noise and introspection (much like this blog). Christ spoke of rest in the garden, a rest for our innermost being, yet we do not seem to want it. We would rather have turmoil.

I look at the hills, the river and the distant sea, and I imagine a physical world, a garden where I have not exploited its resources beyond limits, and a land where justice and peace are the norm. It sounds like a fantasy, a childish dream, but each time I see the beauty of the natural world I see a reflection of its creator and that dream of rest and peace seems more real than this tangled garden.




  1. I think you know who you are and what you are doing Paul - just carry on. I like your posts as there is a certain humility beneath the veneer - quite unique and to be admired.

    1. Thank you. I'm looking closely at the veneer, I'm trying to shed the layers. :-)


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