Courage

You’d think it’s an easy affair, loving a perfume. Perhaps you’re looking for a signature scent. You just find it and like it and ask your self: can I picture myself wearing this? Is this “me”? And if it is, you buy it and that’s that. I abhor the concept of “signature scents”. As one person could only ever love one blend of smells, be portrayed in one single perfume. As if scents didn’t resonate much deeper inside a person than just the nasal cavity. A scent is a bundle of references that come together an evoke something. Memory you’d almost forgotten, a representation of a perfect or horrible moment. Comfort, or an emotional roller coaster. As if your life couldn’t suddenly shift and turn everything that “is” you, against you. You have to become a new you. The old signature is false now, representing a ghost.

Which is exactly how I felt last spring. All of a sudden something sort of turned my whole relationship up side down and made me have to think hard about if I wanted to remain in it, or not. I remember thinking “This is not who I want to be, I don’t want to be this person stuck in this shitty situation, figuring out this shitty decision. Something has to give. Something has to change.” I literally felt like I had to shed something, a skin, scales (the ones over my eyes?), anything.

So I shed. I changed my hair colour and started that bottle of Parfumerie Générale “Djhenné” I’d been a bit hesitant to really break into. I figured I’d in some sense recreate myself, re-invent myself. When I bought it in Les Senteurs in London, I was really going to get “Indochina”. It sounded perfect on paper, but then I tried my way through the range on the shelf, it was Djhenné” that stuck with me. And yet, it was left sitting on the shelf in my bedroom for months. I put on a tiny splash now and then to remind myself of how great it is, but somehow, I never really felt like wholeheartedly wearing it.

When I finally did, I all of a sudden realized what it was the scent instilled in me so deeply: courage. So when I picked it up and tried it on in the middle of all this heartbreak, it was suddenly clear to me. What I needed to get through it and what I had been saving this bottle for. Courage.

Skeletos Owl Crescent

   Just before I went to Beijing I ordered this lovely little pendant from Skeletos. It’s a white bronze crescent, from two joined barn owl claws. I love the entire line of jewellry from Skeletos. Their designs are very on point and I like that they explain the sources of their taxidermy thouroghly. I’m looking forward to getting many more pieces from them in the future, they’re definetly my new favourite.

Beijing Art District 789

 On our friday in Beijing we went to the art district. There is so much going on in this area and friday turned out to be an excellent day to go there. There was enough people milling about for it to feel vibrant, but no huge crowds.

The place is incredible. I love how all the abandoned factorybuildings have been transformed into art spaces. The buildings themselves are wonderful, but there is also very relevant art displayed in them.

 Some of it you might as a westerner feel surprised to see in China, a country still percieved to be watching their citizens quite closely. And they still are, you need a VPN to be able to reach a lot of sites when online in China. If nowhere else, it here becomes very apparent that the regime of China isn’t always very in tune with it’s people. People want the freedom of artistic and personal expression. It doesn’t matter if it is granted willingly, it will happen anyway. It’s possible to forbid art, but it’s not possible to stop it from emerging through the cracks and it’s almost impossible to control the content of it or the meaning that content holds. Everything has the potential to become a symbol of some sorts and symbols are fluent over time.

 

 

Beijing in black and white


   I’ve been home a week and the jet lag has just barely settled and I’m already missing this lovely, sprawling metropolis like crazy. Ever since we booked tickets for going back, way back in march, I’ve been trying to explain to people why we want to go back. That’s been everyones main question: “WHY do you want to go back, you’ve already been once?” Because once is not enough. Our first 10 days was not even close to more then a mere scratch on the surface of a small part of Beijing. These 10 days, in the middle of the crazy hot autumn, just gave us the opportunity to be a bit more relaxed then the first time. Also, the heat made us slow down a lot. It just wasn’t possible to haste around between everything we wanted to explore with any kind of speed. Instead it made room for exploring not less, but other things. It made us hang out in different places, in different ways. Perhaps it gave us more of a relaxing vacation then it otherwise would have been. I can’t wait to go back a third time.

   
 

Grays

IMG_6816So, knitting season is here. That means Kali is very content, since her best sleeping place is on top of what ever I’m currently knitting. What ever it is, it’s usually grey or/and black, so she tends to blend right in. One of these days I’m going to knit her a little gray sweater. That would probably make her absolutely furious.