I was intrigued by the idea of strawberry mist – I believe Londoners were treated to clouds of it on New Year’s Eve, with some ‘Peach Snow’ thrown in for good measure. It sounded far more pleasant than it was, I was sure, so I rang my friend who lives in central London to ask her what she thought of it. Uggh! she said. ‘Awful. Mixed in with the smell of London, not good.’ I was right then.
As we embark on a new year, perhaps some of you are turning to journals as a way of recording how you feel about stuff. It’s a bit off putting though isn’t it? We’ve all been embarrassed by diary enthusiasm – the first few pages full and the rest of the year’s left blank. Well meaning intentions to blog aren’t far off the mark neither…there will be many of these,I’m sure. This is one, in fact!
This time of year, my thoughts always turn to journalling. I’ve decided to Julie Cameron’s Artist’s Way course again. It will keep me going through ‘the dry Januray’. Morning Pages are quite a strict regime to stick to and I wouldn’t advise anyone go down that route unless they are creatively blocked and know they have to do something to turn things around. A journal is not as tyrannical as the Morning Pages and far more forgiving than a diary. You can write what and when you please in a journal.
Journaling Idea – Sharpen Your Smell
Some smells take us by surprise. The feelings aroused can bring about a sea change in how we cope with a situation – out of awareness. We often don’t recognise that we apply labels and judgements to people because of how we’re feeling, and these feelings can be stirred up, simply by a smell.
Try tasting something while you’re-holding your nose. Really sniff at something before you taste it-coffee, curry, tomato, chocolate. Get down close eat it up with your nose. Smell your food and then taste it. Well?
Now think of places that have special smells. Cloakrooms. School dinner halls. Clothes shops. A boat that smells like a boat should smell. A restaurant that smells like it shouldn’t!. The coast path. The gym. The swimming pool. Sweet shop. Mmmm the bread shop. When do you get the first sniff?
I hate people who wear strong perfume because the smell reminds me of the social worker women who used to tell me off all the time – and my French teacher who was a racist. I also think that people who wear strong perfume are polluting the space for everyone else. I don’t want to smell someone else’s idea of a good perfume. Perfume should be private. Only for those you allow up close.
Did you ever get used to a smell and take it for granted – are there smells that disturb you because of the memories they bring. Victims of rape can usually remember the smell of their attacker. A whiff of seaweed might bring back your childhood holidays. I remember living in Harlesden next to a Jaffa Cake factory. That got a bit much after a while. What smells trigger your memories?
When you remember, you feel. When you write down what you feel, you get some control over feelings that otherwise might shift you from feeling content to ‘vulnerable’. Get some control over you feelings today. Write about a smell that means something to you.
Happy New Year everybody. Go easy on the perfume…