Aishwarya Marathe: Cultivating a Creative Garden

Hello Pathos Readers! My name is Aishwarya, and I am a writer and volunteer at Pathos. This is my first (online) term at Portland State, and what a strange welcome. Here I am anyways, with a similarly strange introduction. Just last night, I added a gorgeous trellis to my Creative Garden. 

What, might you ask, is a “Creative Garden?” (I use this term without a shred of pretension). A Creative Garden does not contain real plants, for those of us with black thumbs. It is an idea. A concept. Dare I say it … a philosophy. 

For example, my Creative Garden includes beanstalks. Expansive fields of beanstalks, so many that Jack would have a field day climbing them all, and each beanstalk holds a bean, and each bean is a beanstalk of its own. 

I’ll zoom in. Beanstalk One: dedicated entirely to classical sitar. Sitar music and fiction are not, at first glance, connected, but nonetheless, each bean is one of Anoushka Shankar’s compositions. Voice of the Moon. Chasing Shadows. Land of Gold. The pieces evoke various mindsets, projects, emotions. Beside it, beanstalks for Radiohead, an entire grove just for Bollywood music. Further on, a stalk for Jhumpa Lahiri’s simplistic prose, a stalk for dessert recipes, a stalk for the perfumes I own, a stalk for each novel I’ve finished or abandoned or dumped into the compost pile. 

What I’m saying is, your Creative Garden is every little thing that feeds you and fuels you. It’s not enough to say, “I’m a [insert art form], therefore I [art form].” Even when you are not creating, you are cultivating. No matter whether you’re developing a fondness for English rock as you paint, or matching Chanel No. 5 to the foggy landscape behind your lens, or pretending to be a protagonist as you refine that puff pastry, you are cultivating your Creative Garden. 

So go forth, enter the Home Depot within your mind. Block out the smell of sawdust. When you return to your next artistic endeavor, your Creative Garden will help you grow. 


(Speaking of artistic endeavors, the Pathos Team has extended the submission deadline to November 13th!)