me. Spatial experience by now mattered to me so much that I was at a loss to understand both how much other people seemed to take it for granted and how I might fi nd ways of integrating it more meaningfully into my overall view of the world. Hillman’s essay helped me a great deal in this respect – more perhaps than I knew at the time.
So when I came to make the garden the gods, by a series of ‘spatial epiphanies’, fell into their allotted places, often, it seemed, without recourse to me, though I must, at least, have been their fi lter. What mattered was the eloquence with which they entitled the spaces to ‘speak’. The god, in adopting the space, drew on the space’s inherent character to further invest it with a meaning – or set of meanings (inseparable from the way the space ‘behaved’) – that was distinctly his or her own, that is, in accordance with the given god’s nature. Nothing as referential as a statue was necessary: the god had simply become the space, the space a divine gesture. For me to be able to recognize this, I had to revere both space and god, and to be familiar with their attitudes and sympathies (space is always striking attitudes and, if we properly attend to it, ‘unconcealing’ its latent sympathies). After the initial identifi cation was revealed, I would work with these familiarities in further articulating the space. It was a lonely experiment, exhilarating and daunting by turn, since, so far as I knew, nothing quite like it had happened before. I mean, for the gods, in their individual natures, and with all the signifi cance they had accrued down the centuries
– right up to their formative influence on modern psychologies – for these mythic characters to visit the garden and sponsor the different aptitudes of the garden’s spaces – for divine significance to acknowledge itself as specifically and characteristically spatial in this way – while it set the garden free and made it possible, it also at times seemed strange and unlikely that the garden should have been so tasked.
An advantage of the polytheistic temper is that each god is different, and not all are ‘serious’. A garden’s spaces are often variform. For instance, at Plaz Metaxu, there is a huge contrast of atmosphere and appearance even in the gardens that surround the house. The former farmyard , with imposing stone barns, lies behind the house, while the front garden  is green and faces the fi elds. The dedications here are to Hermes and Artemis respectively (who were brother and sister).16 A ‘monotheistic’ plan for the garden might have been embarrassed by such nonconformity. But polytheism welcomes diversity, while its delicate network of counterpoint allegiances retains a subtle sense of order that prevents anarchy. Difference is premised on the need to be inclusive. I came to realize that Hermes required a ‘refl exive’ space (a protective bastion, a phallic guard for metaphor and playfulness), and Artemis a ‘votive’ one (a space of piety and tribute). The garden needs both, and many more besides.
The polytheistic arrangement of gods or spaces is essentially non-linear and non-hierarchical.
4 The ‘caesura’ laid in the lawn at the east end of the lake. The inscriptions read: Humani nil a me alienum puto / Necque suspirationem dei compassibilem (There is nothing human I count foreign to myself / Nor the sigh of the compassionate god). Each stone was cut exactly to fit the curve by Nick Sloan.
ON PSYCHE’S LAWN