Chinese Scholar’s Garden

I have just started on a new project that is taking me to yet another new world. This time, it’s not a virtual world, but a world of concepts, aesthetics, and beauty that is totally new to me.

A friend of mine asked me to build a Chinese Scholar’s Garden. Without knowing anything at all about what that meant, I accepted the challenge. As I began to research the style, I uncovered a vast new universe of thought that has drawn me in more deeply as I continue. This is not Chinoiserie — European impressions of China — this is authentic China, a world that fascinates me by being so “other”.

They are called Scholar’s Gardens because creating one was a favored activity of the scholar class in ancient China. Whereas I am accustomed to a house surrounded by gardens, this is, instead, a garden surrounded by the house. Typically it consists of a series of courtyards; rooms in the house have openings looking into the garden area. Paths and covered walkways lead one on a journey, drawing you into it more and more deeply, offering interesting views and perspectives at each turn. Everything in the garden has significance; there is meaning attached to every plant, every rock, every shape.

I have only just started so I don’t have a lot to share yet. I paled when I read, “The task was considered so complex that only a scholar was capable of completing it, thus his garden was a measure of his knowledge.” I feared that I had no business even attempting such a feat. But I am very lucky to have made friends with one of the most outstanding builders on the grid, Ryusho Ort, whose unsurpassed expertise on Chinese architecture is keeping me grounded and focused.

I will share more as soon as I can!

Author: Camryn Darkstone

After more than two decades exploring 3D virtual worlds and their possibilities for relationship and self expression, Camryn Darkstone is leading a life of quiet contentment, building and landscaping for Littlefield Grid with occasional projects in Second Life. Camryn has been active in online communities since the early 1980s, and, under other names, has written extensively about the ways that people relate to one another on the internet. Since 2009 Camryn has enjoyed a loving, consensual D/s relationship as submissive to Walter Balazic in both the virtual world and the "real" world.

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