Gardens of Awe and Folly

I just finished Vivian Swift’s new book, Gardens of Awe and Folly: A Traveler’s Journal on the Meaning of Life and Gardening. God I love Vivian Swift’s books. They are enchanting. Later, just a few hours after finishing it, I was staring into a garden around City Hall and the Tweed Courthouse. It was night and fireflies came out. I never see fireflies, I was so thrilled, and it was all so magical and lovely and I thought, I’m having a Vivian Swift garden moment! Which was also a moment of saudade (she explains this in the book).

I’m trying to think of a way to explain what it’s like reading her writing. Her other book When Wanderers Cease to Roam has this same effect. I’ll just go with explaining the after effect. When you put the book down you’re left with the feeling that everything is going to be okay, even if and when bad things happen. And there is beauty and mystery everywhere and remarkable moments can happen at any time.

A photo shoot I passed by recently. An assistant is arranging the model’s hair. I love how her crown came out kinda glow-y.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

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