209 The appreciation of gardens
August 8, 2009 § Leave a comment
From Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilization, a great history of Afghanistan.
Perhaps by way of compensation, the truck drivers of Afghanistan had turned of their lorries into masterpieces of Afghan pop art, every square inch of body work covered in paintings and multicolored designs. Afghan lorry art possessed a history of its own, which took off when metal sheeting was added to the woodwork of long distance trucks, the panels were turned into canvases by artists in Kabul and later, Kandahar. Lorry owners paid large sums to these painters-the more intricate the decoration, the more honored the owner became – and the art was copied from Christmas cards, calendars, comics and mosques. Tarzan and the horse of Imam Ali could be seen side by side with parrots, mountains, helicopters and flowers. Three paneled rail boards on the Bedford trucks provided perfect triptychs. A French author once asked a lorry owner why he painted his coach work and received the reply that "it is a garden, for the road is long."
Indeed the road is long, and we long for gardens. It is the felt place of where we ought to be.