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My Faint, Fragrant Hope Click Here To Comment!

My Facebook newsfeed is rife with posted articles on the recent escalation of conflict in Israel. There is a lot of commentary and passionate debate.

I am so NOT an expert on the issue or the history, although I consider myself somewhat well-read.  In a nutshell, the British (self-appointed rulers of the Galaxy and my ancestry of origin on my father’s side) thought it was a good idea to grant the land of Palestine to a highly oppressed, ostracized group (Jews) without sufficient provision for, or acknowledgement or, or discussion with, the then occupants of that land (Palestinians). If someone tried this on my street, there would be hell to pay.

(Oh, wait … the British did try this here … and First Nations peoples are still reeling from our thoughtless and arrogant mismanagement …)

Here are three of the most thought-provoking, and heart-wrenching, articles I’ve read so far:

Israelis and Palestinians have been attacking and killing each other, literally, for as long as I can remember, and I realize now, for at least 40 years before my memories started to form. I was an avid news watcher when growing up and I distinctly recall having some child-like narcissistic fantasy about being the mediator between Golda Meir and Yassar Arafat and being able to make them see that they didn’t need to kill each other’s children anymore. Everyone could be friends … all you need is love … or something similar. After all, how can some parts of the world be so consistently peaceful and other parts be so consistently violent? We should just share some of our Canadian peacenik-ness with the Middle East and all would be well.  Cue patchouli incense.

Fast forward 40+ years and, although I have long ditched the fantasy of being the wise and all-knowing mediator, the map, the patterns, the headlines … the basic gist of what is transpiring looks about the same now as it did then. I understand the complexities and chasms more, now, but the overarching specter of two ancient peoples bashing the hell out of each other looks startlingly similar to what it did on my parents’ fuzzy tv when the news came on.

The Middle East is very hot. There isn’t really enough drinkable water to go around. And many peoples hold that one piece of land is, sacredly and historically, “theirs”.

Until this last item is settled in some way that all parties can live with, literally, I doubt the map, patterns, or headlines will change significantly in the next 40 years.  There is no peace-nik sensibility strong enough to blur the scars, the hurt and the tragedy of that which continues to unfold.

For what small good it does, if you believe in such things as chaos theory, I’m going to light some incense tonight. In memory of all who have died, and in faint, fragrant hope that some solution is imminent.

Ain’t No Flies On Me Click Here To Comment!

Actually, I was going to title this “How to Smell Good” but I figured that was too much of a set-up for certain readers.

Last week, I changed my Facebook status to reflect that I really was digging how I smelled. I’m sure this may have seemed odd to some. The backstory is this: my massage therapist uses a selection of aromatherapy oils in her practice. Sometimes, a visit with her reminds me of a visit to a top restaurant that has a selection of fine wines. She gestures magnanimously to her impressive collection of bottles and asks me what my pleasure is that day. She often has suggestions based on her own intuition. I just don’t know enough about aromatherapy to really do more than nod and say “ok”, and to veto anything that smells like oranges. I also, and with a twinge of sadness, veto patchouli. Secretly, I adore patchouli. However, you wanna find the lesbian community in North America? Just follow the patchouli. As much as plaid flannel, birkenstocks and/or Blundstones, short hair and short fingernails are the common stereotypes, so is patchouli. Shame, that. I can do all the rest of the “code” but the patchouli is just pushing it too far.

I’ve noticed that I lean towards some combination that involves lavender, something in the woody line (pine, spruce, cedar), and some other “x” factor. Often there are more than three oils on the go. Bergamot is often a fav, clary sage also puts in appearances, as does something I’ve never heard of called vetiver. I go easy on the vetiver because it tends to just put me out flat in a heartbeat, which is terrific on the massage table. Not so good when driving.

Having said all that, I know zero about this. Sort of like art – and wine for that matter. Don’t know much about either, but ah know what ah like.

As a final observation, I have, for years, dabbed on a bit of the Body Shop’s Ylang Ylang massage oil after showering in the a.m. because I like catching a whiff of it during the day.

OK – so, back to last week. I came away from my massage appointment totally digging whatever combination she used that time. Do I remember it? No. Do I know in what proportions she used x or y oil? Nope. All this past week, I’ve really wanted to reproduce that scent. I’m up to the challenge!

Yesterday was designated “time for me” day so I took care of a few personal errands. Took my broken ring into the Craft Guild. Had sushi pizza at the best sushi pizza place next door to the Craft Guild. That feels like cheating without  wizzy, but rest assured that yesterday’s was definitely sub-par. Sauntered over to Body Shop on Bloor and smelled every single product and every single essential oil. Came away with Olive Oil Hair Conditioner, a bar of White Musk soap (long story there*), and a tiny thingie called an “atomizer”. Headed over to the “fweep fweep” section of the Danforth which is essential oil heaven. Came away with cedarwood, ylang ylang, and vetiver.

But what to do about proportions? The vetiver is going to calm me to the point of comatose if I use too much.  The cedarwood is quite bitter on its own.

Flying by the seat of my pants, on my first attempt, I overdid the cedarwood which I think I can balance with the ylang ylang. (Why does it have the same word repeated? Isn’t ylang descriptive enough on its own?) I’m happy with just having tried. For those of you who see me – or rather, smell me – in person, please do let me know whether I’m way off base, or if just being around me is making you feel comatose too.

*Long Story, Beginning With White Musk
I can remember almost all my “big” relationships by virtue of the scent that the other person wore. This has both good and bad ramifications. Like being in a crowded place and catching a whiff of something and suddenly being irrationally, momentarily, convinced that the person from the past is somewhere in the immediate vicinity. Like being taken on a nostalgic, often pleasant voyage of memory from catching the slightest inkling of a scent. In case you are wondering, here is a olfactory run-down of past relationships, in chronological order.

1. Body Shop White Musk … and, Happy Birthday, btw!
2. Clinique original scent
3. Some expensive French stuff that I can’t remember the name of
4. Body Shop Lime/Coconut – intoxicating, still
5. Patchouli
6. Molton Brown, a British hair product
7. Something clean and fresh smelling, maybe Body Shop Oceana …?
8. Something strong and flowery, kinda over powering. I never did get the name of it.

Ain’t No Flies On Me 1 comment

Actually, I was going to title this "How to Smell Good" but I figured that was too much of a set-up for certain readers.

Last week, I changed my Facebook status to reflect that I really was digging how I smelled. I'm sure this may have seemed odd to some. The backstory is this: my massage therapist uses a selection of aromatherapy oils in her practice. Sometimes, a visit with her reminds me of a visit to a top restaurant that has a selection of fine wines. She gestures magnanimously to her impressive collection of bottles and asks me what my pleasure is that day. She often has suggestions based on her own intuition. I just don't know enough about aromatherapy to really do more than nod and say "ok", and to veto anything that smells like oranges. I also, and with a twinge of sadness, veto patchouli. Secretly, I adore patchouli. However, you wanna find the lesbian community in North America? Just follow the patchouli. As much as plaid flannel, birkenstocks and/or Blundstones, short hair and short fingernails are the common stereotypes, so is patchouli. Shame, that. I can do all the rest of the "code" but the patchouli is just pushing it too far.

I've noticed that I lean towards some combination that involves lavender, something in the woody line (pine, spruce, cedar), and some other "x" factor. Often there are more than three oils on the go. Bergamot is often a fav, clary sage also puts in appearances, as does something I've never heard of called vetiver. I go easy on the vetiver because it tends to just put me out flat in a heartbeat, which is terrific on the massage table. Not so good when driving.

Having said all that, I know zero about this. Sort of like art – and wine for that matter. Don't know much about either, but ah know what ah like.

As a final observation, I have, for years, dabbed on a bit of the Body Shop's Ylang Ylang massage oil after showering in the a.m. because I like catching a whiff of it during the day.

OK – so, back to last week. I came away from my massage appointment totally digging whatever combination she used that time. Do I remember it? No. Do I know in what proportions she used x or y oil? Nope. All this past week, I've really wanted to reproduce that scent. I'm up to the challenge!

Yesterday was designated "time for me" day so I took care of a few personal errands. Took my broken ring into the Craft Guild. Had sushi pizza at the best sushi pizza place next door to the Craft Guild. That feels like cheating without  wizzy, but rest assured that yesterday's was definitely sub-par. Sauntered over to Body Shop on Bloor and smelled every single product and every single essential oil. Came away with Olive Oil Hair Conditioner, a bar of White Musk soap (long story there*), and a tiny thingie called an "atomizer". Headed over to the "fweep fweep" section of the Danforth which is essential oil heaven. Came away with cedarwood, ylang ylang, and vetiver.

But what to do about proportions? The vetiver is going to calm me to the point of comatose if I use too much.  The cedarwood is quite bitter on its own.

Flying by the seat of my pants, on my first attempt, I overdid the cedarwood which I think I can balance with the ylang ylang. (Why does it have the same word repeated? Isn't ylang descriptive enough on its own?) I'm happy with just having tried. For those of you who see me – or rather, smell me – in person, please do let me know whether I'm way off base, or if just being around me is making you feel comatose too.

*Long Story, Beginning With White Musk
I can remember almost all my "big" relationships by virtue of the scent that the other person wore. This has both good and bad ramifications. Like being in a crowded place and catching a whiff of something and suddenly being irrationally, momentarily, convinced that the person from the past is somewhere in the immediate vicinity. Like being taken on a nostalgic, often pleasant voyage of memory from catching the slightest inkling of a scent. In case you are wondering, here is a olfactory run-down of past relationships, in chronological order.

1. Body Shop White Musk … and, Happy Birthday, btw!
2. Clinique original scent
3. Some expensive French stuff that I can't remember the name of
4. Body Shop Lime/Coconut – intoxicating, still
5. Patchouli
6. Molton Brown, a British hair product
7. Something clean and fresh smelling, maybe Body Shop Oceana …?
8. Something strong and flowery, kinda over powering. I never did get the name of it.

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