I know what mine is. I’m a slave to my emotions, all of them. I get stove up if I can’t express them properly, and I’m not so great at expressing them in the usual ways. So I paint pictures of these confounding emotions with words and put them on display. Call it art, call it whining, call the authorities for a well check. But once these words have met your eyes and comprehension and acceptance (or lack thereof) they’re gone. And there forever as a reminder of where I’ve been. This is difficult for some people to grasp. That’s fine, we all deal with things differently and there’s room for all of us. Writing helps me simplify and manage it, but sharing once it’s written is the only way for me to actually get it out. It’s part of my process. This is a small, but still very important, part of the end result that is the rainbow’y chunks of glass. You do still like those, right?
You, dear readership, are my Milk Of Magnesia. Thank you ever so much. I mean it. It isn’t like you haven’t been warned… “curmudgeonly ponderings” in the header and all…
These are grim times and I’m feeling it and I’m not afraid to say so. The earth is shaking us to pieces, the sky is trying to drown us and we’re fighting each other. When I talk about how spaghettied in I feel, it’s not because I’m depressed. I’m disillusioned and dissatisfied; I can’t help but see what is in front of me. I’m finding it difficult to accept the things I cannot change… but maybe if I pile a bunch of rainbows on that crap it will soften the edges a bit.
Therapy? I’ve received your hints. I’ve considered it, any sane person would. But I’ll ask you this: would you put a lion into therapy for wanting to gnaw on a zebra? Should you send a rabbit to therapy for being too timid? Should I hurl myself upon the altar of therapy because I choose to feel everything and be honest about it? Why shouldn’t I save myself a few dollars and trouble… and just be honest about it? If you don’t feel everything, if you pick and choose, you’re merely existing. To truly live is to feel it all; to let it overcome you, to let it twist you into knots of anticipation or joy or despair, maybe all at once if you’re feeling brave, and allow yourself to teeter on the very edge of the edge and fall freely into the next huge wave of feeling. It’s just as real as anything you can see and put your hands on. It’s what differentiates us from the other animals, but just like they are, we’re doing what comes naturally to us. Why not embrace it?
I spent a good many years trying not to feel much of anything. I thought I was being strong, not being a bother. If you do feel something and actually admit it, people think you’re weak or that you’re off your nut. Or from hell. You’re threatening their safe little ball of fluff. People discuss you behind your back, “how concerned and worried they are!” but they still wouldn’t touch you with a 30 foot pole. Especially if you’re a woman. Especially if you’re a man. You can’t see me right now, but I’m flipping the bird at glazing over with polite conversation and memes. I’m not a cardboard cut-out and I don’t portray one on the internet, either. It isn’t like I’m hurting anyone, including myself, by expressing how I feel. This might be dreary, but at least it’s real. I understand, better now than ever I have, why people turn to drugs and other sorts of self harm. Feeling nothing would be so much easier. But I don’t have time for that, either. I need to work, I need to live, and my work springs from my emotions, my perceptions, my ability to absorb my surroundings with a clear eye and mind, and in turn, sell my work so that I can continue the cycle of survival. Which I have slowly been bringing into a state of truly living. Even though it’s been for a very positive cause, this process has been disquieting and disruptive to every aspect of my life. It happens that way sometimes.
My other problem is that I second guess my small pleasures. I don’t mean the guilty ones… because ALL my pleasures are guilty pleasures. I should be working or washing something or feeding someone or whatever. Once upon a time, I only spent money on work. Glass, beads, jewelry, tools. I never indulged in anything but what I needed to survive. I ate too much, I stockpiled toiletries and stayed inside. My kitchen stovetop was always fairly clean. Instead of finding practically new $200 jeans for $3 at the thrift store, or binge watching tv shows, or experiencing life and inviting the treasures and dramas that other people have to offer. Instead of simply enjoying and being open to what might be next. And my perfume habit? Talk about silly, guilty pleasures…
Someone did me a solid a few weeks ago. Within a period of 6 days, I acquired 7 bottles of perfume for less than $40 total. All prior to major reformulation. Back row: 1990’s Givenchy Ysatis 1.7oz, late 1990’s YSL Opium 3.4oz, more 1990’s Ysatis 3.4oz (sadly, without a lid) Estee Lauder’s Private Collection 1.75oz (exact age unknown, but definitely older because today I’m pretty sure it’s Eau De Private Collection). Front row: Old formula Ralph Lauren Safari 4.2oz, Gucci No. 3 (not made since sometime in the 1990’s I think) and a slightly newer, but still old, Safari 2.5oz..
Out of all of these, I was most thrilled to find the Gucci No. 3. My sister gave me a mini of this when I was in my early teens, and it was one of my favorites. I didn’t use it much because the bottle was so small and I wanted it to last. I love it because it’s full of contradiction: soft but assertive, powdery but youthful, cool but warm. A tart stemmy green with the roots intact. Mossy as all get-out. Full of fine wood, champagne and suede, as if an adjustment had been made in a hard spirit to allow a few luxurious comforts to soften it somewhat. I think this is one of the best fragrances ever made, and I can hardly believe my luck in finding it.
Ysatis was also on my wish list when I was younger. My 9th grade English teacher wore it and I looked forward to that class every day; but by then they were pushing Amarige and the Ysatis tester could never be found. I was surprised to find it at Von Maur several months ago and it was quite awful by comparison. Original Ysatis was this initial burst of sweet ylang-ylang that morphed into a flowery incensed civet. Now it smells like someone tried to cover stale cigarette smoke with some unpleasant perfume. Much like most older fragrances containing (natural) civet, the magic happens on your skin. Speaking of civet…
I was telling a friend about my luck at finding perfume lately. Like everyone else, she asked if it didn’t get old and turn bad? I told her that just about anything was probably fine for my purposes, and my luck has been good. She said, “oh, well, I have some old perfumes you can have… I can’t promise that they’re anything good…” But I knew that with her taste, it wasn’t anything bad. She brought out the three pictured above and my jaw, of course, dropped. The Joy parfum is empty, but the Eau de Joy is very perfumey and VERY civet’y. So civet’y in fact that one might even call it pissy… to me, the pissier the better. Civet just agrees with me. Fitting, as I’m an unfettered cat lady. The Byzance initially reminded me of vintage Poison, what with the tuberose and spices, but it’s more sheer and smooth, cooler and powderier. I luvs me some tuberose.
And… in addition to made-to-orders, I’ve been working on new beads for the next Superstars sale. The feeling of opening the kiln to an entirely new idea-turned-reality waiting inside is matchless, and also worth sharing… but not until the sale! And it’s gonna be good… new ideas and energy will abound. I’m aiming for next Thursday and I think I might be able to make it happen. I’ll keep you all posted.
Thank you all for reading.