March 7, 2009

Beauty Loves Us

"This has happened not because we have loved beauty but because it has loved us.'" (Gioia Timpanelli, Sometimes the Soul, NY: W.W. Norton, 1998)

What happened in that story, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, was requited love, which arose from comprehending an immense beauty within an unassuming disguise.

During the first really warm day of the year, about 60 + degrees, I went to CB I Hate Perfume in Williamsburg with a perfumista friend. There are many small designer owned shops for everything from perfume to cheese and chocolate in Williamsburg, still making a real go of it, even in these times. Something I really miss in Manhattan anymore. Long may they live. I encourage everyone to support these endeavors, they give you something of creativity and value for your hard earned money. At CB, which is a showcase and venue for one person's sensibility, there was a large and organized array of unusual compositions, based on the beauties of the ordinary. They are divided into categories such as air, wood, smoke, food, greens, water, experiences. The one I fell in love with that day was To See a Flower, from the Experience line,which is made with:

"Delicate spring flowers (hyacinth, daffodils, jonquils & crocuses), green shoots, wet dirt & a bit of moss " and the back-story is this:

"In a way, nobody sees a flower really, it is so small, we haven't time and to see takes time like to have a friend takes time."
Georgia O'Keefe

So, taking my time, I waited til I got home, to a different part of Brooklyn, and doused myself thoroughly in this gentle "water" perfume. Somehow, near my place the Park with its big, brooding, somewhat beleagured Victorian-age trees, and grasses and weeds exuding oxygen is always a strong presence, whether you are in it or not or thinking about it or not. So I must always consider my context, when trying something new.

What I got immediately and the most was the wet dirt/earth and moss, a smell I adore, then the green shoots and last the hyacinths and jonquils. Daffodils and crocus, I don't know. Whenever I have smelled daffodils or crocus they had no smell except for the smell of warm sun through a petals and leaves, being fresh live things all caught up in photosynthesis, but I get it. It's about all the small green surprising things of beauty that spring up from the infinitely modest wet dirt, that you experience coming up towards you from the ground you stand on. Their presence is so subtle it's almost like you hear this composition rather than smell it. However, while in the presence of the first few minutes of top notes evaporating from the skin you feel you've become the wet earth from which the flowers will eventually spring. Then those small subtle flowers do begin to make themselves known. This scent lasted overnight, mellowed by the space around it, without being too strong or too weak. Altogether I made the right choice for the change of season and turning the clocks forward for the next few months of daylight savings time.

Above, Blue and Green Music by Georgia O'Keefe


chayaruchama said...

Now, THAT is a lovely image.

CB, O'Keefe, Prospect can't get too much better.

I'm on board completely- with keeping hardworking artisans as solvent as we can manage, in these times.
So precious little of it left, really.

[Keep your eyes open for the postman !

Trish/Pikake said...

I think my heart opened a little bit more reading that O'Keefe quote. Thank you for sharing it. I really love her work, her words. I just revisited my awesome yoga class reading your post.

Rock on sister.

Lucy said...

Dear C -- the postman has not yet come, but I look forward, I know you have a lot of trouble resisting your most gracious impulses which is all to everyone's great benefit.

I so look forward to seeing you soon at the April Sniffa!

Lucy said...

Dear Trish -- I can't take credit for the O'K quote, I copied it from the perfume description on CB's site. Yes, O'K has that power, I guess that's what proves she is such a great artist. Thank you for your support!

trish/Pikake said...

But you shared it here, and wrote a beautiful piece!

O'K is very powerful indeed :-)