my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


"All will be well, All will be well."*

"Little is known about Julian of Norwich, a close contemporary of Chaucer’s – not even her name ('Julian' was the name of the church at which she was an anchoress). Unlike Kempe, Julian wrote her text, Revelations of Divine Love, exclusively about her vision and religious meditations, not about her life.

Following her vision, which occurred during a bout of illness, Julian withdrew from the world to a cell attached to St. Julian’s Church in Norwich. Her version of Christianity is notable for its joyfulness, and also for its androgynized Jesus. Like other female mystics of the time, Julian interpreted Christianity in a more explicitly woman-friendly way than did her male contemporaries.

Female mystics often emphasized the role of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Mother of God, or dwelled on Mary Magdalene’s importance as a thirteenth disciple, or attributed stereotypically feminine qualities to God or Jesus. In addition to blurring gender distinctions within the deity, female mystics of the Middle Ages often experienced their relationship with God in sexual terms.

Both elements are apparent in Julian’s quotation of God: I am the goodness of the fatherhood; I am the wisdom of the motherhood. I am the light and the grace that is all blessed love. I am the trinity. I am the unity. I am the goodness of all manner of things. I am the one who makes you love. I am the one that makes you yearn. I am the endless fulfilling of all true desires."
Computer Writing and Research Lab, University of Texas at Austin

*As the Lord said to the mystic Julian of Norwich, when she was faced by the darkness of the Middle Ages.


The Angel of Thursday

Some facts about St. Michael, per wikipedia:

  • He is generally presented as the field commander of the Army of God.

Michael is one of the principal angels in Abrahamic tradition; his name was said to have been the war-cry of the angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers.

Michael together with St George became the patron of chivalry, and the patron of the first chivalric order of France, the Order of Saint Michael of 1469.

St Michael is also considered in many Christian circles as the patron saint of the warrior.

Police officers and soldiers, particularly paratroopers, regard him as their patron saint.

He is the angel of forbearance and mercy.

Michael is said to be the spirit of the planet Mercury or the Sun.

He is ruler over Sunday and Thursday.

He is the alchemy of motivation, activation and achievement.

He is said to be bringer of the gift of patience, and angel of careers, courage, achievements, ambitions, motivation, and life tasks.

Prayer to St. Michael
Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio.
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis,
Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute, in infernum detrude.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the
Heavenly Host

by the Divine Power of God —
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.



I remember Tom, of Tom and Icy (My Dogs' Daze), being concerned at one time about what would happen if he were to suddenly die ... none of us would know what had happened, why he had suddenly disappeared.

Well, apparently there is a solution for all of us. Macabre, but a solution.

Check out the services section: "Bridging Mortality"

I promise not to leave you guys without advance warning. honest.

photo by the MIT Computer Architecture Group


The Importance of Being Sad

Like anyone else, I avoid pain whenever I can. Physical pain certainly, but emotional pain even more. Because it's my experience that acknowledging emotional pain opens a door to freefall depression. Much much harder to get that door closed, if you open yourself to feeling in the first place.

In my life, I have associated the worst emotional pain with abandonment or betrayal.

Someone who you believed cared for you, who you counted upon to be there for you, turns out not to be. They didn't care enough, or their care was of poor or careless quality ("care less" quality). Many times the other individual is oblivious to your need of them and really didn't mean to hurt you. They hurt you by accident.

Worse is when an individual is truly conscious of your need of them, and absent themselves. They can't bear the weight of your need, or they have done their cost/benefit analysis, and the emotional expense is too high for anticipated gain. Or there is some kind of conflict between their own needs, one need has to be sacrificed and that's you.

These are fairly dispassionate descriptions of what Marge Piercy, the poet, described of falling out of love: "costing a pint of blood turned gray."

But sadness associated with loss of a love isn't dispassion. It is the most bare-skinned vulnerability to pain. It is acknowledgement of having needed, and of losing what one needed.

Need. Loss. Pain.

Most of us spend a lot of emotional energy edging away from, and denying, need, loss, pain.

I think Americans are peculiarly into denial of these naked emotions ... they're seen as weak, and those who admit to them are not demonstrating the characteristics of self-sustenance and independence that are most respected in our society. We value emotional numbness in our country; it helps us maintain in the face of the constant pressure that's a way of life for most of us.

But being numb isn't living. If you want to truly live, you need to feel what it is to live. And all the need, loss and pain associated with it.

So, honor sadness. Endure it. Go against the grain, open yourself up to feeling what you feel. Respect it for the symptom of being alive that it is.

Make Me Want To Dance

And to think I used to mock the Croc.

Shame on me.

Btw, I'm thinking of changing my name to Oriana Fallaci.

Please discuss. All five of you.


Hauling Off And Letting Him Have It

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a misinformed beholder a black eye.

Miss Piggy
(courtesy of Google's Quotes of the Day ...
I am so lazy)


Isn't She Lovely?

My birthday present.


Monsoon Season

I have a long ago memory from the Philippines: monsoon season.

Heavy atmosphere cut through by dense rain that changed the air's quality. Thick, thick air quickly thinned as all that humidity became solid and fell to the ground.

The thinned air then became palpable, blue. Electric blue.

Monsoon Season, a fragrance in the Lisa Simon line, brings the ozonic quality of monsoon to scent. But not just the air, flowers and spice. Lightly, lightly: "pondflower," rose and iris, saffron and sandalwood.

I don't like aquatic perfumes. But scent's magic ability to evoke the past brings a torrential Philippine storm back to my mind. It brings a monsoon season back to my heart's eye. It's not so much scented as felt. An emotion painted by fragrance.

Monsoon Season by Olivia Giacobetti for Lisa Simon.

(Coincidentally, another Giacobetti fragrance, Andree Putnam Preparation affects me similarly ... sheer fragrance that creates a storm.)


Happy Father's Day


For, Like, EVER

When you're stuck where you don't wanna be.
When you can't get to where you need to be.
When you're waiting for life to happen.
When you're on hold.


In the Mood for Carnation

A recent post on Now Smell This about Roger & Gallet Carnation Soap and a query on the fragrance board led to these suggestions on carnation fragrance (from people who know):

L'Artisan Oelliet Sauvage
LaBoissiere Carnation
x Guerlain Metalys
L'Air du Temps
DSH Fleuriste
x Malmaison
i Profumi di Firenze O-Più
Sous le Vent
Terracotte Voile d'Ete
Carthusia Fiori di Capri
Etro Dianthus
x CDG Carnation
vintage Maja
Fendi Asja
x Bellodgia
Etro Dianthus
Fragonard Billet Doux
x Poivre
Santa Maria Novella Garofano
Lorenzo Villoresi Garofano
DSH Spicy Carnation

The only ones I've tried have an "x" in front. It'll take me a while to work through the rest of them. Must get busy.


I Think Paulie Walnuts Is Cute

There's just something about him.


Blatant Steal from Google-Word-of-the-Day

Everyone is as God has made him, and oftentimes a great deal worse.
Miguel de Cervantes


Bela Is My Personal Stylist

And she has selected this for my quiet evenings at home. We agree it is stunning and suits me perfectly.

Sophie Cartledge showed bodysuits and bodice/legging combinations in black and lightning-prints, encrusted with large crystals and veiled in ‘aprons’ of black chiffon.
Her finale piece featured a skintight bodysuit in flash-of-lightning cobalt blue and black, mixed with black PVC which came with a ‘Joan of Arc’ armour-inspired breastplate and cape of giant crystals. (from the


Also, in Perfume News

Laurie at Sonoma Scent Studio will soon introduce one of the most wonderful fragrances I've smelled in a while. And I've smelled a lot of fragrance.

It's called Champagne de Bois, a sparkily aldehydic bouquet of sandal, cedar, labdanum absolute, jasmine, carnation, frankincense, ambergris, musk. I LOVE IT. Really, like her Opal, it makes me want a vat of it.

When it shows up, check it out, I beg of you. And I so seldom beg of you to do anything.

Fear of Photography

I have a new Nikon digital camera. Well, it was new. At Christmas. And I still have not learned how to use it. It occurs to me that the manual probably has some valuable information. I mean, it taught me how to install the battery or card or whatever that thing was. I guess I have to get it out and continue reading the instructions. Or you'll never see what my life is like. erk.


Rabbit! Rabbit!

Even Mama Bunnies Take That Sanctimonious Tone.