The natural world seems to me mysterious, lush and lovely, transitory and tenuous, disquieting and complex. We all live under a strange accumulation of emotion, sensation and memory. And we cannot know this inner world directly. We ‘know’ through images that stand for something other than and greater than ourselves. Meaningful life can be experienced by the symbolic life made conscious, and I believe that beauty plays a role in that awakening. Maybe we can’t escape the condition of our time, but we can propose little worlds, places of hope and beauty, decorated with images that define a silent optimism.