Sermon on paradise, and on man’s yearning for order in the world.
Every garden is fixed at a location two seasons distance from it otherwise falling into disrepair. And every garden discloses, in its state of dynamic preservation, a history of vigilance which has ensured that it remains thus. The figure of the gardener, as sentinel, as guardian, is undoubtedly negatively motivated by a presentiment of the garden’s irretrievable ruin which confronts him at every turn. He is haunted by the foreknowledge of an inevitable loss of integrity which would result if the rate of his interventions should slacken. His every act is preventative of intrusions, defensive against infringements. Thus, the garden haunts itself, its future decline is written into it, dependent as it is upon an external benevolence for its continuation. It knows that without the agency of the gardener it will go to the bad. Somehow, and this is the source of melancholy in all gardens, it is aware of its proclivity for self-betrayal and, despite its resolve to remain true to its own form, it knows it has never entirely suppressed its willingness to surrender to the wild. Destruction and ruin, the dolorous stroke, will always poke through. In spite of the gardener’s best efforts to the contrary, reminders of the end are ever present and appear as enemies in the shape of slugs, blight, weeds, climatic inclemency and fertility loss. Communism too, is maintained at the border of its viability by a constant, active, lived involvement. It too, depends on the vigilance required to preserve its artificial ordering, which is both directed against, and extracted from, an external accumulation of the historic dead, a history which presses relentlessly against the outline of its cohesion. Communism is a sealed city of the distant mountains, a miraculous flourishing of fountains and artifice, of rewards and repose, of reason and poetry. It is tragically set within, and against, an all-devouring wasteland which will one day certainly vanquish it. It is a societal form that is haunted by an overriding sense of irretrievable and universal loss, which it finds in its own terms as the decays of form, cohesion, outline, principles, territory, and above all in the relentless and absolute decay of time. Communism becomes formally distinct as a grief that is directed against all those undifferentiated and mortal souls, present in the world at the wrong time, who will never know it. To spite mortality, there is an irrational yearning, perhaps unspoken, perhaps merely unconsidered, for communism to fulfil an achievement of the end to man’s struggle against nature – that it must be, in some way, a compensation or reward for the grievous losses in accumulated time that are marked by alienation in consciousness and corporeally, by material want. Through such yearning, communism draws surreptitiously on the device of eternity that it derives from the old myths of paradise. But communism cannot last forever. Paradise, by its very nature, is momentary, fleeting, whilst ruin extends indefinitely. Communism too is an expression of the wasteland’s torment, which is thrown up to reflect, by reversal, the dominion of disrepair. Communism is the wasteland encountered again as a flight from the wasteland. It is the wasteland, just as everything is the wasteland, but inverted, set up in defiance of the law of extinguishment and affliction. It is a fortress built against its own destiny, distinguished by its thickening walls, by its falling water table, its flickering power supply, and by the gaiety that is known only by those who must fall in the morning. The victory of the wasteland is already written, as a debt, into communism, which forms in a pocket of the inevitable, as a brief diversion from the departure of form from the world. The lesser blow of paradise may only be struck back against the decisive blow of the dolorous stroke – it is a wound of small redemption inflicted upon the infinitely wounded flesh of the damned. If the wasteland is eternally present in paradise, then paradise itself may form only briefly upon the wasteland and thrown by forces which it cannot hope to subdue. The transient thing that is communism will be lived by a few, and then will be lost from all.