Monday, June 26, 2006
BACK TO THE GARDEN
Poignant metaphors for the nature of life in the universe abound in every seed I plant and watch sprout, bloom and bare fruit. Fibonacci fiddleheads of uncoiling sprigs of golden cherry tomato flowers, spirals of burgeoning broccoli flowers and the vortices of protective shells on voracious snails come to eat them all bare ideas as juicy as any fruit. As I sit in my greenhouse contemplating the garden stretched out before me, a timelessness pervades perception and I have observed a clod of soil roll three inches when it lost its balance on the slowly rising hill being pushed up by an aggressive black-eyed pea sprout searching for the sun. I half expect David Attnborough’s spritely comment on phenomena only revealed by time lapse cameras. And that watermelon runner I redirected just this morning has turned its leaves back to the sun again.
Metabolism, not just for animals anymore, is the respiration/recycle rate of living creatures. In general, a ratio of metabolism to bodily mass is consistant throughout nature; ie, the earth’s rotation/mass ratio is much the same as human’s breath/mass ratio, or any other scale comparison. Humans can perceive a range of phenomenan in time and space beyond which, at one end of the metabolic spectrum, is too small and/or either moves or lives too fast for us to even notice, and at the other, is so large we only see the space between atoms/stars never suspecting, much less beholding, the body of which they are a part moving so slowly it is never identified as such, much less that earth may be an electron in orbit around the nucleus we call Sun in that body. The metabolism of a plant is at a slightly higher vibration level than the food it eats combined with the energy of the sun to convert the organic material into its own developing body, which our bodies, at a slightly higher vibration level yet, are in turn nourished by. Within the ecosystem of earth there is a replenishment of resources motivated by the seasonal attitude of the earth to the sun played out in the drama of the birth, hunger, death, nourishment cycle.
Galactically such a system is fed through black holes recycling galaxies at their centers like the maw of an octopus. Metaphorically, black holes are the mobius loop recycling centers for questions of beginnings and endings, age, size, distance, superiority, ad infinitum. Peering into such a black hole with a powerful enough telescope could reveal a large eye peering through a powerful enough microscope at a wee anomily in the space between the particles of a nucleus.
So, what garden is it that I harvest such a crop of horse twaddle and speculation from? Just 148 square feet of specially mixed soil contained in 12” deep frames atop the surface of what once was a junkyard. Digging my pond only 3.5 feet deep uncovered all manner of mechanical parts and satellite photos from ‘95 show the yard of the entire six acres covered in cars and trucks. I moved here two years ago when torrential rains turned local soil to emulsion and a beautiful leaning hackberry in the front of my apartment went to leaning all the way over, busting the wiring in the next apartment and eventually getting me evicted when the landlord wouldn’t satisfy the city’s demand to bring the building up to code and tore it down after I’d lived there for 15 years. I’m in the shade of another hackberry now. A very erect one this time. I chose to live here because it is relatively cheap, the landlord was a friend, who, as it turns out after much debate and settling in, approves of the things that appear in the wake of my piddling around my section of the land: porch, pond, greenhouse, garden and perhaps a larger pond under dome to raise tilapia in.
The whole time I lived at my previous location the only kernal of dissatisfaction in my life was that I had nowhere to grow things while the dawning of needing to become independent of agribusiness gnawed at me more and more due to the impending peak oil crisis. Such considerations drove me to order fifty pound sacks of rice and black-eyed peas inn lieu of growing my own. And now, here I am planting those very black-eyed peas and getting the creamiest, most flavorful meals I could imagine them ever providing, with straight out of the garden onions, garlic, serrano peppers liberally spiced with basil and cilantro —watch out. Such revelations in flavor may be the tip of the iceberg in discovering that all commercially available foods have been leached of the vitality required to sustain enquiring minds and to keep them thinking National Enquirer has the answers to questions they’ve been too dumbed down to ask. The connection — grocery checkout lines! Who knew?