Last night I watched a documentary about André Leon Talley, The Gospel According To André, which begins with this voiceover:
“Voltaire says, ‘One must cultivate one’s own garden.’ Which doesn’t mean to grow garden peas… you must cultivate your own aesthetic in your own universe. Create your own universe and share it with people you respect and love.”
He later explained to the SF Chronicle:
“Every day I cultivate my own garden. That is simply a metaphor for making sure you have the curiosity to learn something new every day. I’m constantly learning.”
Over at the School of Life, they unpack this famous last line of Candide, and “What Voltaire Meant by ‘One Must Cultivate One’s Own Garden”:
Gardening is no trivial pastime, it’s a central way of shielding ourselves from the influence of the chaotic, dangerous world beyond while focusing our energies on something that can reflect the goodness and grace we long for.
“Build your own world,” as Emerson told us, and tend your little plot.
Filed under: gardening