I Was Meant to Make a Garden of this Land ~ In-progress body of work ~ Salt Lake City, UT

We are all meant to make a garden of the land which we are given. Our garden is our legacy – it encompasses our family, religion, tradition and everything we are destined to be. With this garden we also inherit the ability to continue the cycle of planting and harvesting, or we allow it wither and die. I, however, have learned with time that our Edenic callings surpass the finite nature of either choice.

Adam and Eve were granted the Garden of Eden at the brink of all beginnings. This was the place in which the sun and the stars and the moon would exist only to sustain their life. But to live in absolute peace meant no pain, and thus, no joy. As our lineage passes down like stories whispered through one ear into the next, we become increasingly indifferent to the nuances of purpose and spend our days merging into comfortable routine – the same as Adam and Eve once did in the Garden of Eden. Our lives become simple when the world is at our disposal, but we no longer merit the polarizing and thrilling experience of true sorrow and bliss.

I am someone who chose not to make a garden of the land I was given. I often contemplate my eternal identity, the sacrifices and trials my ancestors endured to pursue religious freedoms, and my responsibility to continue their legacy. Although I conclude at a combatant position with many before me, I have found a common thread in our religious pursuits – how we have both come to know pain and have both come to know joy.