Scent of dirt, a new schedule, a poem
I truly hope your summer is going well and that all your dreams under the moon include sweet songs and gentle scents.
Can’t get into the garden to stir up all the peace and happiness vibes? We know the garden isn’t just about floral smells, and we make good serotonin just from mucking about in the soil. Not quite like being there, here’s one from my perfume box: Dirt. Yes, it does have the smell of dirt, and that’s a big surprise. Spray down any ultra-floral scents that seem too sweet by adding a little dirt, or imagine you’re just in from digging. There’s a perfume history of mixing in stinky, darker, dirtier scents with the high notes. The fecal hint in rare ouds, the animalics of civet and ambergris add complexity, mystery, depth. This Dirt fragrance alludes to that, and perhaps stands on its own as a novelty. And for drought days? There’s now a scent of Petrichor. It may not bring on the rain, but it does invoke a recollection of summer’s just-rained-on dirt roads.
Not enough? How about a little more?
If you’ve been with me in this newsletter from the beginning, you might be happy to know that I’m still here. Thanks for hanging in through all the shifts and phases. It’s a tricky dance trying to produce a personal newsletter at a reasonable level of output and focus year after year. Like in every long-term committed relationship, we need to space and pace, make things new again, transform and grow, re-connect.
Every new subscriber means a lot to me. If you’ve just come into the room, you are right on schedule! It’s a time of renewal and retrieval and exploration.
I’ve been really prolific writing other stuff and now I’m finally finding ways to bridge that writing over to my Substack. My shift into more introversion was a change that led to more writing, contemplation and Platonic studies (“the hermit stage”). With all that “enrichment time in my enclosure”, I seem to have lost the rhythm to connect this work back over to you. The month of June slipped right by!
Let’s begin again by returning to the ideas that I started out with in 2019 when this experiment in expression began. Back then I was faithful to weekly output, so I’m returning to that regular format. It may be high, it may be low, but you’ll find something from me in your inbox every weekend. Instead of bemoaning the tyranny of the calendar and clock, I’m going to use these time-honoured tools for our mutual delight. Yes, weekly, baby!
Don’t worry if it’s too much! Don’t ever feel you have to open or read it right away, or ever, haha. Confession: I also have subscriptions that I only read when I have the time or interest.
My enthusiasm for this newsletter ride has spiked and dipped, but the publication has been a strong continuity container for me. I came to Substack just before the pandemic years, stayed for the changes that life on Salt Spring Island has catalyzed, and now I’m curious and excited to see what’s coming next!
Events and urges that sparked articles and essays in the earlier issues were often responses to external pressures. The influences of news, seasons, politics, climate, family, friends, and work were all amplified directly or indirectly — kind of like 1950’s jazz that was partly propelled by opposition to the restrictive status quo. And now? What’s changing, pushing for a creative reply?
By the fountain
my new-washed yellow toque
stands drying in high sun.
Rays elevate it to gold,
to Byzantine crown,
to that ceremonial hat
of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
When the solar Assyrian shows
two fingertips in the old blessing,
beams penetrate all matter.
High Crown hovers
as ordinary corona
The mitre of an archangel
The valve of the heart
See you next week!
Writing prompts? Questions? Help make this new weekly schedule something that we can all love and enjoy! Send me anything at all - words, questions, pictures, references - and I’ll weave and dance with it for a future issue!
I had fun generating the selected AI images, the others are my own photos.
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