Jasmine

Jasmine has a sweet aroma,

delicate and intensely floral.

Without citrus or bergamot

though has a musky undernote.

*

Enamored by the idea of

fragrant garden in moonlight,

And loving glossy vining evergreen,

I keep trying to have one cultivated.

*

After my third or fourth attempt,

I’ve finally got one that seems to be at least okay.

Espying her in bloom,[1](finally),

I stop to sniff it.

*

[2] (I’m taking extra attention now,

Just in case, I get “Covid nose”-

Though with my mask on,

I might still miss it[3].)

*

I’ve bought and been gifted jasmine plants,

but none responded to my tending.

Once they left their home or nursery,

would die come winter’s bitter February.

*

(Not sure why –

or which was worse,

location or gardener

that did curse them.)

*

*****

Initially, this jasmine was planted into a narrow brick garden  – really a trough[4],

positioned between sweet grass

and lavender,

the soil also contained scallions.

*

In two years, she bloomed not once,

nor gain in vegetation-

no matter her regular feeding and watering

and conditions which seemed favorable.

*

I wondered if she- as mildly acid-loving,

was stunted by cement’s lime-

casually leaching from mortar?

Water dissolves everything- with time- and especially when there’s sodium[5] .

*

Or perhaps the other plant neighbors,

were non-conducive for her health,  

keeping her in veritable static condition of strain?

(Borage in her spot since, seems pretty happy.)

*

For example, Grass will invade wherever it can – like bamboo in same family, sending out scout rhizomes deep underground, that then branch out

reaching up from the subterranean to pop up “green slivers” (ha, don’t be fooled, theirs’ a giant structure supporting them) searching for warmth and gradient combinations.Grass Intermeshes with other roots, and then competes for water. Clever, if you ask me.

*

Sweet grass is no exception- even though as herb it is sacred.

**

Onions swell, exclude by creating impassibility, for any root or critter.

Pushing against the earth, they physically add layers from in to out..

Like forceful walls, as experienced by the smaller beings. They can’t help but be themselves- so don’t treat them as blemished (or blame them).

*

Lavender digs in creating roots with clumps,

could emit byproducts from its astringent pungency.

Could that be experienced as ‘toxin’ to my dear jasmine?

 Never mind each plant’s microbiome soil by-products transferrings!

*

No matter, while I may never know exactly

What caused her to remain un-expanded,

I suspect she was nearing death’s doorway.

*

Starting to enter the  black hole of no return -when versions of cytokines, ‘poison’ cell’s machinery- to extinction – our direct experience of heart or brain swamped in IL-!, IL-6, TNF for starters- signaling heart’s brain center- hers is below the crown.

*

When plant machinery starts shutting down it often starts with withering. 

‘Breathing’ slows to stop- and I’m afraid death is coming.

*

Once she cheat’s death once, as in going through a major stress, her DNA is epigenetically altered. De-fence (defense) [6] sequences are opened, that previously were locked down.

The mesodermal ‘body’, as mesenchymal (middle) tissue, lives in the present but cannot forget, though can be quieted.

(Defensive in nature, as we are meant to pass in and out of life’s incarnation- as in once born, we will transition[7]. )

*

Just like ours does- and for similar reasons, as you will see, eventually.

*****

In hopes of outcome different from my usual,

I transplanted her into the small garden

left by previous homeowner

just beyond the cypresses’ drip-line.

*

There the soil is more acidic, and organically rich.

Then she need not compete so much, If I keep her weeded.

With the trees, she was protected from strong winds and rain;

She also would receive regular bird ‘fluff’, if not droppings- from their activity in the tall stand of evergreens.

*

Barely a week went by,

when blooms started proliferating[8].

Multiple clusters of white star flowers,

Seemed to come as if from nowhere.

*

(Had she been saving up during those stultified years!

Under lime’s drenching negativity,

were her enzymes kept as anion, silenced,

inoperable for tissues’ needs?

*

Either way, or both, or other reason(s) causal or associated,

she seemed saved from being tossed into compost.)

*

This continued for what seemed a month

During which time, she – as in her plant body, seemed also to double.

She must have been starved!

*

It was for me, exciting to end summer

To see my Jasmine once again vigorous.

*****

Here it is late September she’s again in bloom.

Though according to last year’s diary entrance,

she is late, which made me worry a little.

(who wants to go through that again!)

Nonetheless, is blooming again-

so hurray! I get my poker out- helps with weeding.

*

This year, for a day the garden experienced decimation.

Large, but not huge limbs fell, crash landing beside her.

Ground shook with each resonant thud of a couple hundred pounds

– which I could feel, throughout my house!

*

Perhaps she got shocked a little in the process.

She was right next to the whole spectacle.

(My other gardens naturally, seem spatially unaffected,

though birds, raccoons, and squirrels activities have majorly shifted.)

*

Did they bump and dislodge her tiny rootlets-as they impacted,

Disconnecting her from microscopic matrix?

That is, disrupting the overlapping, interdependent,

Her local biome’s living crystal of metabolism?

*

Before the trees’ removal,

I placed an upside-down plastic trashcan

strategically over Jasmine

to block the dust, but let her breathe.

*

Feeding her into it ever so gently

I tucked her in, limb-by-limb,

Provided her four walls

but no direct sky, (though sun’s heat effects, may have been amplified)[9].

*

She was beyond the drip-line and, I hoped,

safe from direct boughs plunging,

as the man climbed and lopped off

cypress branches and trunk.

*

When the thundering stopped, and chips stopped flying, I let her out.

She looked a bit wilted, but seemed otherwise ‘fine’.

With her shielding, she was clean, but had no blooms.

Here it was mid September- I got to worry about her not flowering.

*

Her neighbors- tomato, potato, chard, and chive,

were smashed, mashed and covered in splinters.

But she’d been protected in her ‘box’…while they were left out in  (“free”).

She looked recovered; while they were in tatters.

*

It took a several days for the others to perk up – at least (superficially).

With their destruction and lost leaves, they also lost

precious photosynthesizing opportunity-

while September’s light is waning.

*

-So this year, I won’t count on any “late harvest” and go for more trips to the vegetable aisle, than I might have needed otherwise.

*

Some potatoes lost their lives from limbs dropping squarely on top of them.

Leaves and stems were crushed smithereens- leaving only ragged stubs.

It was sad (pathetic) to see- (and they had seemed so happy before!

Please insert a sad emoji).

*

But of the potatoes, a couple did make it.

I found one today almost as big as my palm (sideways).

I left it, hoping it would continue to fill out.

(These I’ll wait to harvest -after new leaves turn yellow.

 **

The mint also received direct impacts.

We are talking ~hundred pounds, crashing repeatedly and directly on top of them.

They seemed completely wiped out.

I was sure I’d ‘lost ‘ them.

*

I couldn’t but help feel sad and disappointed;

having to remove the trees was already bad!

*

Mint is one of my favorite herbs,

though it does mis-behave, takes what it can get.

There’s no controlling whilst it takes over, nay invades, a garden bed.

I’ll need cull attentively, to keep it in check.

*

Yet within days forceful regeneration was evident.

Multiple shoots sprouted at once- and much more vigorously than before.

Did they particularly revel being near-obliterated-

via mechano-sensor ‘hormones’[10] pop them out DNA S phase?

*

(No wonder mint is so invasive!)

*****

After watering well, her sun regained,

a week or so passed and flowers appeared (at last).

I noticed them first coming out of my garage –

Stopping me in my tracks I approached to savor them.

*

Though this year they are later-

And not seemingly as plentiful,

I don’t really care – that she’s blooming’s a gift.

I hope it means she’s happy[11].

*

I can barely smell them at first, so I crouch down,

(Ugh, my back is stiff, stooping is challenging!)

because I can (I’m in no hurry)- and

I want to notice[12] her delicate bouquet.

*

Sniffing her aroma was too faint

to inhale actively, other than to catch a top note or two.

I must bend way down – get up close and personal,

And let her fragrance drift up and fill my nose.

*

From there I inhale ever so slowly

 Before (‘ere) I can more fully detect aromatics’ complexity-

low notes,

as well as high ones.

*****

Looking carefully, because why not, I have time,

I notice her blossoms seem narrow and ray-like.

They extend but don’t flair- sides are rounded in contraction.

Looking like thin pinwheels, they hold their preciousness within.

*

However, maybe being pinwheel is her destiny.

(She’s perfect for

just what I need.)

 *

[When we, as in our heart self, envision what we are looking for

at a given point in time, even if in response to ‘idle’ query,

The mind trains itself to notice any and all related signs. 

Following clues like treasure hunt- all is done subconsciously,

until it accomplishes vision – no matter what.

The intensity of persistence is worse when thwarted.]

*

While her blossoms won’t open fully with these conditions,

And she’s no Arabian jasmine, With double florets and surreal pungency,

Even as “Star”, she could be brighter- at least in my now, conditions aren’t optimal.

But conditions are abruptly changeable, as we have heretofore seen.

*

Though her visage as photon rendering, can be captured by camera,

Even high resolution won’t capture sublime  (=under lime-light) essence,

but focuses on pores.

Her deeper beauty- such as blossom’s fragrance,

requires being in her presence.

*

Jasmine petal is crystalline-

fully formed and present in a fruiting bud’s bulge.

As near-end product of reproductive fitness, petal’s shape is optimized

for her suitor and pollinator (in this case a night moth).

*

Blossom beckons- seductive gateway, thanks to her esters,

emitted by her base – where lie pistils and stamens and ovule awaiting.

Jasmine makes no fruit, though she’s in the olive family.

But perhaps there is a little vestige, hidden under her leaves.

*

(Like Heimlich’s tiny wings in “A Bug’s life”, as an observer we might laugh or scoff at them, but to him they’re real, and he’s finally at peace – his cycle complete.)

*****

[When water fills blossoms’ stroma,

currents flow from sodium and potassium-coupled pump gradients,

*

Potentials  for ion exchanges’

Are harnessed for work of active transport.

This potential arises, from being segregated, separated,

(and secret-gated, my typo) across from bilayer lipid membrane’s two sides.

*

With water, receptors activate to ‘recognize’ what they are there for- at the time.

 ATP’s transfer their charged phosphates, and activate proteins gate keepers- changing conformation. And with that creating micro-currents. Ultimately, DNA is awakened.

*

Water incursions brings life to the next phase.

Without water, they are sitting; receiving from neither neighbors nor interstitial surroundings.]

*****

When watering’s irregular,

Not all clusters activate-

creating then, smaller mini-bouquets.

From fewer blossoms, comes less heady fragrance-

no matter how closely I “lean in”.

*

As living tissue, flowers end crystal, her base can also exude startle hormones- such as when stressed by pests.

Then she uses energy to make tertiary molecules- not relevant to her reproduction-

And there’s less for her

inflorescence.

*

Does she prefer her ‘life’ more uniform[13]?- Sure, no doubt,

with attention and time, all is possible.

Or will some other ineffable quality let her blooms swell to ovoid

So she too can be a pretty Google image?

*

If she’s not in the right place,

no matter how many amendments I add,

in the end,

I can’t sustain her there.

*

I guess I’ll only know those answers come next year.

*****

These thoughts, filled my mind as I drew off the lid,

And her limbs burst out flopping,

I had to catch them,

Before they cracked as they carelessly tumbled.

*

After leaning on her white plastic wall for little more than a month–

they had stiffened to they fit in – virtually bound.

It seemed they almost broke as they strained (against nothing but air and gravity)

with external supports gone.

*

Let her limbs be airy

Supports them you must-

such a plant like jasmine, is long-lived but thrives best

with independent dependence.

*

(Sounds like a Cheth theme- so discipline, balance, and focus on both self and non-self around her are keys to the quandary).

*

So I lifted her up gently, right away rescuing.

I chose to give her a crutch (or two) stakes I’d use for hyacinth.

*****

Jasmine loves to wind up a support, she is a little clingy –

especially as she ages and becomes more stable. 

*

(though nothing like honeysuckle or pea with their tendrils

 forming strings of attachment- that can throttle with their touch)

*

With support, jasmine’s limbs can wax with flower clusters -at least that’s the theory.

Soon I’ll mount her permanently to a fan trellis.

*

With her backside supported, she can then

engage more with sun’s rays- than if creeping along the ground.

*

I can see it now – fully filling her lattice – in the span of ~ five years,

Happier now, with a fan (and pillar) behind her.

*

(And if she doesn’t thrive here,

may there be something else better!

I might plant wisteria, for example.

This is my earth I’m cultivating, not my neighbor’s- I get to choose!)

*****

Normally her rough and irregular bark,

 Like any cranky exterior,

makes it hard for land-bound bugs

To reach her juicy parts.

*

From bug’s and beetle’s perspective- negotiating jasmine’s upright self

means long(er) trips clambering up and down expend much energy to get to sweetness.

– unless they jump or fly to land high up on fresh parts.

*

 (Though many follow Aphid’s offal sugar trail, which

smoothes the way- helping especially ants and fungi.)

Left aground, with impunity they’d march up and over her.

*

Or worse, left to lie in or near pooled water[14]

With time (earth of earth), her shiny leaves soften,

Become oxidized,

and soon turn brown rotting.  

*

Stagnation[15] harbors slimy fungi and other protoplasm to create resistant biofilms.

Creatures with multiple fruiting bodies extend, link, and branch deep within the watery milieu.

With their buddies, the algae and bacteria, they create mutual scaffolding-

living crystallinity weaves the worlds together.

*

I worried she’d have no resistance from such earthbound creat-ures-

(yes, they create too – just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.)

Know stagnant water teems

with interconnected watery lairs.

*

Since then I’ve learned, she can be a ground cover[16]

Although, she might then need use other defenses, I haven’t seen,

but she has in her repertoire of lineage.

Turning those on, could also shift her flowering.

*****

we shall see, with the towering trees gone

if her new microclimate is supportive.

*

With the tree’s removal-

Jasmine lost her shade.

No longer is her bed in a haven

from winds prevailing.

*

Nor will she receive sprinkles of bird poop and feather droppings,

Without cessation of the flitting to and fro the cypress branches;

She’s lost her fomite fertilizer.

**

A waxy leaf coat protects from desiccation

but stores no heat, so not from frost.

She makes no natural antifreeze, like kale or parsley which can go dormant and come out fine.

*

In these aspects, she’s may not be situated ‘right’, as in “right place, right plant”

prefers zones 9 and above; I think I’m an 8.5.

So with a blanket I (will) cover her,

to lessen winter’s chill.

*

As air cools, it condenses –

falls directly down on open surfaces,

that can catch the drizzle. 

Tiny ice clumps form- which we know as hoar frost.

*

When she gets cold enough, her cell membrane’s freeze, swell, and burst.

That is when her plant self dies.

*

Putting a baffle around helps with winds and dessication;

for frosts though, she will need her top covered.

*

Or must I make her a houseplant- at least in winter,

if I still desire one?

*****

Jasmine’s not a plant that thrives with pruning.  

Cut her limbs and the ends fill with latex.

Thick white goo wells up– to irritate skin

and turn clothes black oxidizing as it drips on them.  

*

(Since I’m figuring this for projective metaphor, I’m guessing the sap stays permanently-

commentary for how I might come across if I’m attacked, for example. Their mask (of perception) is changed.)

*

As she oozes from lopping,

Her cell membranes are transected.

She’s forced into a healing crisis.

and another reason she might be barren.

*

In this way Jasmine is quite different than 

Rose which responds to pruning with lush blooms.

Neither is better.

Both are delightful, separately.

*****

Give her plant body,

a diet of N, P, and K.

too much nitrogen- as in Nitrate or proteins,

she’ll be green without blossom.

*

(This too could have been a factor in her abbreviated blossoming and rapid growth last year. A year prior, I saturated the garden she’s now sitting in

with compost tea made with greens and eggshell.)

*

Soil’s “organic” part- is mainly carbon and nitrogen. Besides legume-fixed (NH3 or ammonia), nitrogen comes from proteins in decomposed creatures’ remains, carnivore poop and falling leaves. This is the form used to make amino acids and protein.

Oxidized nitrogen, nitrites and nitrates, aren’t so useful- but currently fill our waterways. Plants can convert nitrates to ammonia, with a process that’s inducible.

*

Bone, like eggshell,  is mostly calcium and phosphates.

Bone meal is exceptional amendment as source for these minerals.

(Unlike egg, there may be some blood mixed too.)

These help plants be strong –as in energized, and literally ancestral gift.

*

With phosphates of ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate), channels open as ATP is a cell’s energy currency.

This activates receptors responsively- not responsibly,

as a plant has no choices of action –

her ‘behavior‘ follows gradients of what Gardener will to give her.  

*

Too much signal, as in relentless and chronic environmental stress (crowding, drought), along with overfeeding, and her cells will make decoy receptors –

*

Ones that aren’t membrane coupled.

And/or she spews them out to bind and creating her own competitive inhibitor.

 (At least that’s what happens in humans)

She’s got other stuff to “do” than endlessly respond to things outside of her.

*

When a cell’s response process is completed,

another voice (signal) can be heard in the stillness-

as a feedback loop signal might indicate surfeit.

“Time to recoup” might be equivalent message.

*****

Within a fortnight, she softens my ambience-or so I imagine,

though I’m standing 20 feet away and next to a pile of

fresh shredded cypress heart.

I could swear, I caught a whiff of her over their pungency.

*

But when I cut her- even to transplant,

Severing her roots, gives shock for her system.

And yet there are times, when the thing must be done- loss must happen,

which is basically how this essay started.

*

(Did you know, plant and animal mitochondria – are ubiquitous and indistinguishable.

Both plants and animals ‘breathe’ creating cytoplasmic respiration?

*

Like mammalian cells ‘breathe’ responsively as evidenced by cellular oxygen uptake

-assuming metabolism as proxy for mitochondria working).

*

Left unstimulated, they quiet down and go into S phase, sleep mode – staying in stasis slowly ‘aging‘ with indigestible lysosomes. Later to be edited, in other ways or excreted when that cell finally makes it to become skin, hair, nails, or sebum. Telemeres removal signals cellular activation, previously super, super locked, (AKA “junk” ) non-transcribing DNA opens with responsive transcription. Each time is possibility for mutations- so cell body keeps track of them, probably like yellow or red flags, seriously. Eventually, they are short, stubby blunt antennae, and cell death cycle intervenes. This protects the wholes integrity.

******

She may be pretty in a vase,  but off the vine, her beauty lasts hours – not days.

Think instead of the many more times  you can have her sweet,

If you leave her plant connected.

*

And yes, this whole essay is metaphor for needing divorce and separation- and then reestablishing, in spite of circumstances- from my heart’s projection, as seen by mirroring  Jasmine’s- my version of synesthesia. And also, seems to be full of ‘instructions’ for me and my future- such as having my head covered when I ‘visit’ spiritual realms; staying shrouded when out among those whose attention might be focused on me (wind=thoughts and change as perceived from inside).

And lol, this started as seven loose pages!

*

All is Inshallah and ‘love’ from Boson.


[1] Being a shape having form, is considered , for lack of a better word, “negative” and of the feminine. Matter is ‘vessel’. As we name it, with context and the recipient of emotions, the result of hormones activating.

[2][2] At least, perfuming a sitting area is the idea, in reality she’s so small, I have to really lean in and let – to appreciate her subtlety.

[3] Once a concept has been clearly remembered by both sensory and mirror self, seeing symbols of it, will immediately elicit memories- including smell, sounds, tastes and textures. Read here my Synesthesia essay, if you’re further interested.

[4] Choosing this word trough to describe the shape, when I could have used narrow rectangle, reminds one of certain animalistic behaviors. Especially with pigs and cows, which might be how it feels like.  As if being to forced to live with pushing and grunting immediate neighbors. In constant state, to get the Their thing (which doesn’t include you) feels pinched, to the one receiving shoulder bumps. Being in such condition is not supportive to one’s higher heart self.

[5] Salt can contaminate the sand of mortar. Alchemical salt describes balanced materia- stable union of ions- creation in form (lol, and is also subject to water’s destruction- as soon as it’s made. Salt’s ionic bonds are miscible). When forming, the potential and kinetic energy of moving towards the other’s Columb force, is resolved in stable configuration, for then. Creating a new memories for the crystal to synergistically strengthen. under those conditions, each forms a stronger unit- than either alone.

Sand is code for being in (physical) existence. (see more in Snow essay). Looking at it under microscope (I saw a picture once)- each grain was different crystals in wide range of jewel-tones. Any one of them becomes a pearl, snowflake- maybe even ultimately perfect gem seed stone after being subject to time’s forces). Maybe all eventually make it back to the Marianna Trench and fall in, to be recombined as new life later.

But from us – far away relatively, its looks non-descript as empty desert, to our receptor self of sensory being.

[6] De-fence, instead of defense. Being ‘off her fence’ – experiencing a thing, not within our duality. We act like this naturally. As a fence requires two posts side to side- attaching planks in the middle- like our truths, if you will. Eventually we must get off our fence and step down, so as not to spoil Her. Untethered, one is out of their element- is easy to feel frigh-tened (in the process of being over-freed tangibly, is frei, in German, or ang-ry (outbursts with Ayin and Resh, from ang-uish and unfairness and, betrayals.)

[7] Using the word “Will” here should be noted. Will is contraction for we will. When Vau’s embodied self (W is made from Shin ungrounded, and 2 Vau’s united), faces change (“E” is 5 in numerology), the embodied non-grounded Shin self (our spiritual flame) with Yod, G-d’s inspiration,  create Lamed’s goading decisions (from judgments we make). Lamed’s “L” shape is Vau’s arrow – as it lands. When doubled creates abundance (of something money power sure, but sometimes the opposite).

[8] Proliferative (pro-lif (e)-er-ative), that’s pro-life giving

[9]though placed under plastic, she may have overheated still. I ‘d like to do an experiment to see if it gets hotter when plastic vs glass is covering. To approximate what’s going on in with carbon’s microplastics in atmosphere- currently creating a version of convex shield in the troposphere. Being of lighter molecular weight, will fly an order of magnitude higher than sand made from silicate- and adding to global warming (my theory anyway). Glass compares to plastic- as silica is sand. https://rdcu.be/cYxGt

[10] Did you know cell integrins are inducible, meaning called in by tangible signal? Such as inflammatory cytokines like IL-1,6, 8 and TNFa- all of which usefully respond to experienced activity? Integrins are immune co-receptors; they work with immune cells to link both the inside cytoskeleton to the outside of cells to create anchoring and rigidity- and aid in antigen presentation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3372743/

 You get those from virus, wounds, and inflammatory responses (including to “foods” that aren’t really little more than processed chemical). This locally stiffens up our gel of self. Tissues with the most circulation and exposure to the inflammatory signal, will become affected first. You might ascribe dis-ease to “wear and tear” of aging, but this is a symptom of crud in your system.

[11] Excessive numbers of fertilization structures, like pine cones, are produced as survival technique when harsh climate conditions like drought or other strain (including on roots) prevails for more than two years, according to U. Maryland website and my arborist.

[12] Like I used to love eggs Benedict. They were one of my favorite foods – and I did savor them. Now no more eggs for me, but I recall the pleasure of the velvet yolk and deliciousness of homemade Hollandaise. I really did enjoy them – Yum. But now I’ll watch as you get to eat them, thank you! Though I may have to hold my breath in order not to sneeze.

[13] I’m just learning about constancy, making new helpful habits- and not viewing being at home, as bondage. And learning to dote more on those in my environment, including me.

[14] Earth of water- Each element has a world of its own. I try to keep open vessels- buckets, barrow, and wagon – sideways, so as to not collect water and foster stagnation. But once in a while I might miss an errant puddle or two.

Last week I found a tarp full of tiny wriggling larvae living in the not-so-small creases where water had collected. Likely to become mosquitoes – I dumped them out un-cere-moniously. (I guess bats need food too.) Though maybe I should thank Ceres for helping me to feed them.

[15] Stag-nation – and s-tag-nation- one is full of stag’s continually fighting (such is the state of USA today); the other ‘tags’ where ‘S’ (energy of snake Teth and Samech) name and “solve” everything. Either way, with stagnation there is no fresh water to cleanse or replenish- at least until a gardener comes along, and dumps it.

[16] Jasmine grow as vines and wild in much of the Middle East and Asia; with ground they make contact -though they prefer to cling and climb. Unlike orchid -an aerial plant, they are not sustained by moist air alone- (at least that I know).

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