“Metaphysical Background”

27 Oct

Boy child asked me what this was. A doodle. It surprised me. No recollection of doing it–or where I was–or even when–except it’s been in the last few days–hmmmm. IMG_11491

Grace over at windthread has been talking about Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm by Stephen Harrod Buhner.  I ordered a copy and it arrived Saturday evening.  Right now I’m essentially camping out in my house, surrounded by packed up moving boxes and a variety of things that will probably be moved by hand.  Unboxed.  Or Not.  As soon as I think I have a plan, either it changes or I change my mind–so I’m not taking any one thing too seriously.  But what I wanted to say was that I started reading the book and on page 19 came across the clearest expression of–of –I don’t know what to call it.  So I’ll simply quote Buhner here–he’s talking about art.  And everything else.

For if we should recapture the response of the heart to what is presented to the senses, go below the surface of sensory inputs to what is held inside them, touch again the “metaphysical background” that expresses them, we would begin to experience, once more, the world as it really is:  alive, aware, interactive, communicative, filled with soul, and very, very intelligent–and we, only one tiny part of that vast scenario.

But it’s the phrase “metaphysical background” — two words I’ve never strung together–but I’m in love with them now. These words–a physical handle, a tool, a tangible concept–recapturing the response of the heart…manifesting the metaphysical background.  And somehow communicating that.  If possible. A wonderful thing to attempt.

Just  reread this.  It feels like I’m circling the wagons–getting close but still not there with the idea–but again, I blog to remind self of certain things and will revisit it.  Later.  Now these are the images I want to remember–not for their surface message, but for that other thing–that thing Buhner calls “metaphysical background.” And remembering that first time they made my heart sing:



A block print and leathery leaf–from 1969–



A wool sweater my mother knit for herself. The original color a very pale light blue. Now after a recent Indigo dip.


Starfish Cactus ready to bloom


and This–yesterday, a flock of wild turkey in the back yard where we’ll be going.




5 Responses to ““Metaphysical Background””

  1. Mo Crow October 27, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Y’know this book abiout the plants says what we know deep down but I keep thinking of this poem by Pablo Neruda that a gentle man sent me when we could no longer see each other so many years ago …

    Too Many Names

    Mondays are meshed with Tuesdays
    and the week with the whole year.
    Time cannot be cut
    with your weary scissors,
    and all the names of the day
    are washed out by the waters of night.

    No one can claim the name of Pedro,
    nobody is Rosa or Maria,
    all of us are dust or sand,
    all of us are rain under rain.
    They have spoken to me of Venezuelas,
    of Chiles and of Paraguays;
    I have no idea what they are saying.
    I know only the skin of the earth
    and I know it is without a name.

    When I lived amongst the roots
    they pleased me more than flowers did,
    and when I spoke to a stone
    it rang like a bell.

    It is so long, the spring
    which goes on all winter.
    Time lost its shoes.
    A year is four centuries.

    When I sleep every night,
    what am I called or not called?
    And when I wake, who am I
    if I was not while I slept?

    This means to say that scarcely
    have we landed into life
    than we come as if new-born;
    let us not fill our mouths
    with so many faltering names,
    with so many sad formalities,
    with so many pompous letters,
    with so much of yours and mine,
    with so much of signing of papers.

    I have a mind to confuse things,
    unite them, bring them to birth,
    mix them up, undress them,
    until the light of the world
    has the oneness of the ocean,
    a generous, vast wholeness,
    a crepitant fragrance.


    • Patricia October 28, 2014 at 5:18 am #

      i like this a lot…so many ways to say the same thing–that beneath it all, there is that


  2. grace October 27, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    all of this makes perfect and good sense…the different photographs of what you have
    touched in the day…
    how the sweater becomes yours with the indigo…does it have copper buttons?

    i have gotten to a place in the book where it became HARD yesterday, but today it is
    very soft. There is so much.

    the “song” on the squash, made from lines, made from simply Growing, growing a
    foodness, but also growing a song on your skin….

    and to have the wild turkeys. This is a safe place, then.

    i found the right box for the copper pot. you can send the new
    address any time.


    • Patricia October 28, 2014 at 5:21 am #

      not sure what the buttons are–some metal w/brownish hue–now. they were more silvery before their bath.

      much love to you…and your finger


  3. Dana October 28, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    I’m so glad for your post today! It touches something I’ve been trying to bring to the surface for a while. I am awaiting delivery of my copy of Buhner’s book….in the meantime your excerpt reminds me of Christopher Alexander’s “The Luminous Ground”, which must be the same thing as the metaphysical background.


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