Expressing the inexpressible

This weekend, I saw a movie called The Gardener about a man named Frank Cabot. He designed a private garden at his house in Charlevoix county, Quebec that has attained world-wide acclaim.

In the film, Cabot’s dedication to his craft is explored – through interviews with him and others and general historical information. He is also a very rich man, and so the gardens were sort of a passion project that just got bigger and bigger until they were something more.

The scenes of the gardens were probably the best part of the film. We see, through Cabot’s eyes really, what this garden looks like and why. That’s the chief thing to understanding the film, that Cabot planned everything. He said so in the movie, and it’s necessarily true if he’s an artist like the film claims.

Cabot said that his focus was the emotional impact his work had on the person walking through it, that’s what he emphasized. This really piqued my curiosity because of how blunt and upfront he was about it. There was no veiled language, no pusillanimity to the man. This is what he wanted to do, and this is what he did do.

I want to be that comfortable as a man and an artist when I go through life. I don’t know if I can really create anything that gripes people by the throat otherwise. Really, I was awestruck by Cabot’s work and I was seeing it through the eyes of the man documenting them. I cannot imagine what would happen to me if I got the chance to see it in real life.

I’m not sure how to balance being meticulous with inspired to be honest, but I think that’s how Cabot was able to create such a great work. You need to practice endlessly to try to express something inexpressible – it can be exhausting.

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