Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's Saturday Night...

and here I am alone at my parent's house in Salt Lake. well, the only one awake at least. My mom and sisters went skiing and Ryan had to work in Provo aall day so I came along and we skiied most of the day. My parents have a strict 'this is not a college dormitory there is a 10 o'clock silence rule' policy, and everyone is pretty tired from skiing anyway, so it's been a pretty uneventful night.

On a more exciting note I found vintage victorian style lace up boots that fit today for 4 dollars (!) at consignment circuit. I usually don't succomb to their hgih pricing of cool things but this was a wicked sale.

So I'm aware I haven't posted in a while...since I'm trying to stay consistent here, and Ryan has the computer and all the photos, so I'm just gonna do some fun abstract post and fashion and culinary endeavors will have to wait...

I was thinking about Prousts's 'In Search of Lost Time' and how he discusses things that can trigger our memories. Trivial things, like smells, tastes, objects, etc, and how our bodies adhere to and remember a first or significant phyiscal encounter, and then those memories can be recalled and relived in encountering that specific item again. Proust dips his madeleine into his tea and floodgates open to reveal his childhood with specific images and sentiments. I thought it would be fun to list some items that are triggers for specific memories.

1) Lemon Soap from The Body Shop.
When I was 5-9 I lived in Saudi Arabia and The Body Shop was really big over there. I loved smelling the soaps and lemon was my favourite, so I would save my pocket money to collect bars of lemon soap which I would store in my lift-top desk and periodically smell and feel happy and soothed.
When I smell this now it recalls:
The wooden school desk with the lift up top and storage cubby. It smelt like crayons and coloured pencils, my staple mediums at the time.
The mosquito netting hanging above my bed that made me feel like a princess.
My first own room, which my parents let me paint drastically. I covered a whole wall in a jungle scene with trees and vines and animals, and strung up fake vines on the ceiling.
Taking bubble baths and taking that soap with me...and often just smelling it all the way to the tub and all the way back to my room.

2)That Sour Fertilizer Smell
I'm not absolutely sure what the source of this smell it, but it's that super sour pungent chemically aroma that permeates the air in plant stores, hardware stores, and the like.
When I smell this now it recalls:
sitting in the front top seat thingy of a shopping cart my mom was pushing around Southern States, the local gardening and hardware store in Baltimore where we were living when I was threeish. The smell got stronger and stronger as we got closer to a certain part of the store, and I remember feeling like my nostrils were burning and my eyes were watering and I kept whining about the awful smell. I remember the ceiling and windows being very tall and I couldn't believe there were so many piles and piles of bags of stuff that smelled so rancid.

3)Citrus Spice Candles
Well pretty much any smell that is citrusy and cinnamony (say that five times fast)
When I smell this now it recalls:
Christmas at Grandma's, which equalled Christmas for the better half of my childhood. Since we lived abroad so much, we always came back home to the Grandparents for christmas. My Grandma Hunter, my mom's mom, had some pretty distinct decorations around and a lot of them had to do with flames. She would light orange spice candles all over the house or heat up wassail just for the smell. They also had a collection of those German candle powered carousels, or Christmas Pyramids. Those were the coolest. I loved walking through the house with christmas music playing and the festive aroma present in every room. I especially loved going into the drawing room, which was usually empty, and I would soak in the loveliness of the candlelit room full of red and green and gold, and watch the magic of the biggest Christmas Pyramid, which was something like 6 levels high and stood on top of the lion carved chest. Each level had different wooden carved figures associated with The Christmas Story, and if you lit the 12 candles attached around the base, the heat energy from the flames would eventually make contact with and move the thin wooden propelers at the top, which would cause each level's platform to rotate. It created this beautiful, polyphonic, abstract allusion to the Bible story I was familiar with, and I remember being tranfixed by the creativity and intricacy of the whole mechanism.

1 comment:

  1. lemon and sunblock and hot summer cement getting wet from rain or sprinklers are my favorite smells.