Gardening Telling Thinking: Gardening And Garden Narrative As Phenomenological Investigation

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vanHuesen, Trish
gardening , thinking , phenomenological , Heidegger , Cavarero
This project weaves personal narrative with gardening and the thinking of philosopher Martin Heidegger, and although it takes place in a vegetable garden its purpose is larger. I begin as a feminist believing that new ways of speaking, acting and thinking from within the dominant paradigm of the West reflect diversity of experience and invite discussion. Guided by the thinking of feminist philosopher Adriana Cavarero (2000), I use personal narrative as an expression of relational experience. Like Cavarero I believe we are continually shaped by environment, and narrative tells not only of our own experiences but those of others with whom we come in contact. Because the narrative in this project is shaped by my relationship with an abandoned garden, it allows me to illustrate and explore some key concepts of philosopher Martin Heidegger through the work of feminist scholars. Heidegger‟s corpus questions what it means to be human in the world, and is founded on the premise that we relate to the world through care and as feminist thinker, narrator and gardener, care calls to me from within his thinking. My stories come from where I am, a neglected garden and farm north of Kingston Ontario. It is a good place to begin because it is a local example of a much greater neglect. Recognizing that we are in an era of global climate change brought on by a thinking which arose in the West, this project invites us to consider: how might our world look if we recognized nature not as a reified “thing” and in turn, how might this alter our political choices?
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