Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cinnamon and ylang ylang...

... are burning in my oil burner right now. And suddenly everything is alright with the world again. It's amazing how scents can lift you out of a low. Cinnamon may feel a bit Christmassy after this glorious spring day (I must remember to wear SPF again - I spent too long in the sun today, and it shows), but it is one of my favourite smells (I have ground cinnamon every single day, sprinkled on my breakfast), and sometimes I need a warm wooden scent among all the florals of this time of the year, especially in the evening. And it is still chilly, after all.

The longer days mean I can spend evenings at the easel painting for hours - in my aspirational life. Yesterday and today books and DVDs won. But it does happen more often now. I am getting the hang of this discipline thing and am no longer waiting for the muse.

 I do still procrastinate, however. The idea of a completely bare studio (apart from painting paraphernalia, obviously) makes sense to me when I get distracted by the d├ęcor of my little studio/office and feel the need to spend an entire afternoon changing things around when there are deadlines looming. I can see why a lot of writers prefer to work at a desk facing a naked wall rather than at a window.

At the same time I like being surrounded by inspiration and things that are meaningful to me. My pin board is a bit cluttered, as I keep adding bits without taking others down.

Among the exhibition invitations, photos and cards are a sketch of a stove drawn by my mom and a Clemens Brentano quote* written out by my sister on a scrap of paper (not pictured: a cat drawn by my other sister) - these are the things I treasure above everything else. I look at the board every day, and I have read the quote a thousand times, and it always warms my heart. 


[I love Lowry's people -the feet!- and the little dog in the card in the first photo. The two square pictures in the second picture are reproductions of work by Conor Gallagher]

* Translation: "Love alone knows the secret of making gifts to others and getting rich within."


  1. I completely agree with you about scents...scents have a direct effect on mood, in my opinion. I love autumn scents...pumpkin mixed with cinnamon is my personal favorite.

  2. I have an aspirational life too...I'm hoping that sometime soon it will be more of a real life ;-)

    I've been feeling under the weather lately and bright scents such as fennel have really helped. I'm hoping to learn more about aromatherapy as I love lighting up my burner.

    1. I don't have fennel oil - it's on my list (I love fennel tea and fennel gratin). Thanks for the suggestion. Hope you feel better!

  3. Agree with you...Lovely post..very well expressed!

  4. Marina,

    Incense relaxes my mind. It connects me with a sense of awe. It harkens back to the childhood portion of my spiritual journey. I take this positive aspect from my early attempts at spirituality, leaving the rest.

    Pleasant fragrances nurture the primitive, noncognitive part of me, awakening genetic, primal memories of fires once used by my forebears to combat cold evenings or cook food.

    Regarding priorities, sometimes it's enough for me to just live fifteen minutes at a time. Anything more can sometimes be too overwhelming.

    Thanks for your honesty. I value authenticity.