Sunday, January 24, 2010

Inner voices (the good kind)

As I was putting on some perfume the other day, I wondered why I hadn't written about scent in a long time. The most obvious answer is that I haven't been keeping up with any new releases. The less obvious answer is that I've turned out to be a serial monogamist when it comes to perfume. I will wear one fragrance for weeks (or even months), get tired out it, and move on.

I'd been wearing Armani Prive Eau de Jade for nearly a month when one day, out of the blue, I suddenly felt nauseated by it. For a week, many of the scents I love smelled terrible to me. Still, I craved scent. I always do. The smells I was enjoying were simple: Burt's Bees baby powder with it's hint of honey, Weleda birch body oil, and an ayurvedic soap I use whose name I've forgotten. I wanted to put on perfume, but I was nearly scared to. I had been scrubbing everything off within five minutes of applying.

During that time, I rediscovered a nice little bargain scent, Crazylibellule and the Poppies Encens Mystic, which is a little stick of perfume in a cute package for sixteen bucks. On Basenotes, it gets only two reviews; one thumbs up and one thumbs down. If you like incense scents, at this price, one can make a blind buy (as I did) and feel okay about it. It's not a scent I'd jump up and down about, but it's quite nice, stays close to the skin, and can't offend someone.

That's not much of a review, is it?

I'm also a serial monogamist when it comes to food. I like to eat the same thing every day. People do this for breakfast without a thought, but for some reason, if one does this for any other meal, it's considered odd.

I've discovered the joy of eating apples and pears mixed with savory food. The other night I had a most wonderful salad - cold chicken I had simmered in a broth with thyme, basil, marjoram, and roasted garlic, pears, toasted pumpkin seeds, avocado, and salad greens. I had been eating mixed greens with apples, chopped celery, and sunflower seeds for days. Okay, so I wanted a bit of variety, finally.

I find eating raw and simple foods to be very satisfying. Simple tastes seem to explode on my taste buds. I savor each bite, sometimes murmuring little snippets of appreciation in between swallows. There is nothing better than a good chunk of pear or a perfectly ripe avocado (yes, I know I sang the avocado's praises just recently). I used to love very rich foods like lasagna or stews with a zillion things in them. Now, when I eat something like that, it doesn't seem to do much for me except give me a stomach ache. Bad consequences aside, I can't seem to taste complex foods as well as the simple ones.

Once, at the end of a week-long mediation, I ate two potatoes, one white and the other sweet. It was pure heaven. I thought it was a consequence of the intensive meditation. It may have been, but now I'm beginning to think it's the pure food itself. Each meal I have of late feels like that one long-ago meal. I relish every bite. I can't eat quickly, nor do I want to sully my food experience with doing anything besides eating. I believe I have discovered what my body has been craving, and not only am I enjoying eating, I do feel better in general.

Ayurvedic principles tell me I shouldn't be eating cold foods in winter, but I know what my body wants, so to heck with principles. If I was saying I wanted death by chocolate, maybe I'd question the wisdom of my body, but if I am feeling good from eating raw celery, apples, and nuts, I'm not too worried.

There's a thread running between these two things, scent and food. It's listening to my body. I approach wearing scent in the same way; I ask myself "What do I need right now?" What does the picture of my latest handspun yarn have to do with all this? Not much. Or maybe it has to do with doing exactly what I need. I, like many people (I think) have spent too much of my life doing what I think is right when there's an inner voice telling me it's wrong. Now, I'm listening to that inner voice. It isn't stupid, and dismissing it has only done me no good.

Addendum: Here's what I eat for breakfast every morning (and have done for over a year): 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill 8 Grain Wheat-Free Cereal (hot) with 2 chopped figs , some minced dried bing cherries, dates, and raisins, a small pat of butter, about a teaspoon of chia seeds, and chopped walnuts. Yummy! I'm looking forward to breakfast tomorrow morning.

1 comment:

jmcleod76 said...

This post was so sensuous. I can almost taste all of that delicious food.

I love a good avocado, too. It's hard to come by really good ones in winter.