Time Travel and Necromancy: the easy way.

Time Travel and Necromancy: the easy way.

No, I haven’t gone over to the Dark Side with Dr Who. Chance would be a fine thing. I’ve been following my nose as a part of a project that is as much intuitive as it is nebulous, and I’m hoping to share a snippet of some of my discoveries. After all, one of the items on my bio on Twitter and elsewhere is Explorer and while I think most people reading this blog don’t expect me to disappear into jungles wearing a pith helmet and a goofy smile and not reappear for months or years, I do the Explorer thing in a very different way. I explore inner worlds.

When I say, following my nose, I do mean literally. I’ve been exploring the world of the sense of smell. I’ve hung round department stores, come home often with a dozen little smelling strips (which make delightful book marks, by the way), visited perfume shops, and bought blind on line. I can honestly say I have no real clear idea of what I’m doing. Or really, why. But there’s been some extraordinary results.

First one I’d like to share concerns a perfume from The Library of Fragrance. http://thelibraryoffragrance.com/collections/all?page=1 They have created a sort of physical data base of all sorts of extraordinary scents: everything from almond or apple blossom to wet garden or whisky tobacco. I’ve been given some and have bought a few others; they’re relatively inexpensive and light cologne type fragrances. Singly, some are a little thin, or depth-less, but the beauty is you can mix and match and create something quite different by using two or more at a time. Now, I’ve managed to recreate a now-unavailable perfume Amber from L’Occitane by mixing Amber with Thunderstorm; it’s as close as makes no difference when the original is gone from sale. The Library was having a sale a few weeks ago and my daughter and I pooled our resources and bought one each. I bought Iris http://thelibraryoffragrance.com/products/iris but when mine arrived I got a shock because it brought a ghost with it.

A kindly ghost, I must add. The scent is quite hard to describe, but it conjured someone I admired hugely as a child and who I wished I had known better as an adult. Until I sprayed Iris on me, I hadn’t know that somehow, it had been her scent. I imagine it was a mixture of things, but it immediately brought to mind my headmistress from my infants’ school, who I stayed in touch with by letter until I was 23, when she passed away unexpectedly. Looking back, I know she had had a difficult life that it’s hard for a 21st century young woman to understand; not only had she lived through WW2, she would have also lived through the radical changes before that, and the changing world that meant that when she began her teaching career, it was accepted that a female teacher would quit if she married (it was once enforced as were dozens of other things we now look at with horror). So Iris was as if she had just walked through the room; it gave me great comfort and encouragement. It’s a perfume of quiet elegance and self-deprecating strength; not exactly floral either, but with a 1920’s feel to it that’s unlike anything else. 

The next perfume was one of sheer time travel. When I was 14, I went to France on an exchange programme. On one afternoon, we were let loose in the centre of Angers, and I found myself in the market. One of the stalls was selling joss sticks and perfumes and I haggled for several items. I came away with a hair clip, a joss stick holder and a tiny bottle of deep, dark resinous looking perfume that later I was not allowed to wear at home because my mum loathed it. I loved it, and though it was very different to the kind of scent you’d imagine an English school girl wearing, it was something that had drawn me. Of course, once it was gone (lost or finished, I do not recall) I had no name for it and could never find anything like it again. Then, part of my foraging on Amazon brought this to my nets: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00V37SSF8?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 Opening it was like stepping back forty or so years. I imagine my mother will still hate it.

Not all exploring is nice. I have had one experience recently with the scents I have been trying and it continues to haunt and upset me, because I cannot get the scent out of my mind and it’s a horrible one, truly horrible. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00UD2NKKW?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00 I had been trying to find a version of amber I also remember from my teens. But this was not it. It brought to mind a person who isn’t dead but might as well be; not a complete scent but a note created by all sorts of things, and like with Iris, it was as if someone gone from my life had walked through my room. Needless to say, I had to use other scents to exorcise this memory.

I am hoping that this form of exploration will be a way of examining both memories and imagination in a manner that is quite different. It might not suit everyone but it’s been an interesting experience so far.

(For other posts of fragrance please click here  here  here or here

Time Travel for beginners

 

 

History does not repeat itself

Or give edited highlights

For those in the kitchen at the time

Making a cuppa during the ads.

It doesn’t go in circles either

Though it feels that way sometimes.

No. Time moves in careful spirals

Like bedsprings coiled and compressed.

We can look across to other curves,

See both past and future

Caught in the coils of time

At parallel points but not the same.

So deja vu and premonitions

Are echoes of ourselves

Vibrating across the spirals of time

Giving that queer tugging at the heart

That speaks of the mysteries of life

And offers only ourselves as answers.

 

Time travel

You can’t change the past.

But you can change how you feel about it. I discovered this almost by accident some years ago, during a meditation.

To be honest the meditation was one where I lost focus fell asleep and started dreaming. The dream was more of a nightmare as I let myself slip into a time of my life I really hate remembering.

My first year at university was the worst year of my life so far. Last year at work came a very close second but at least last year it was only in the professional area of my life that things were hard. My first year at university just about everything was bad.

I found myself in the dream looking down at my eighteen year old self as she sat crosslegged on her bed in the hall of residence, late at night, crying bitterly. Usually when I dream I am the dreamer. This time I was an observer, floating high above my younger self, detached and strangely compassionate. I wanted to communicate with myself and tell myself things would change and I would get through the whole silly mess I was in. I think I tried to touch myself and the figure on the bed looked up. The lights in the room were blazing. I had had a lot of trouble and had begun to be very scared of the dark, though don’t ask what I was scared of. That’s another story. I even slept with the lights on back then.

The weird thing is this was now a lucid dream. I was fully aware I was dreaming and yet, there was something incredibly real about the whole thing. I found I remembered that evening, remembered a comforting presence being in the room, though not being able to hear what was said.

The dream lost focus and I woke up.

I found that I felt totally different about that time; I felt that whether or not I did actually visit and comfort my old self, the comfort had come through. Time and the mind are very odd things.

I’ve done this in waking meditations now. It takes a fair bit of effort to stay focussed and having another person talk one through would surely be a help too.

“You can’t change the past but you can change how you feel about it”

……or perhaps you can change it, subtly.