What Do the Signs Say?

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The World doesn’t move for you, all by itself. You must move it toward the direction you’d like it to go. With care, delicately, as with a feather fan.  Just as you might, with your own skill and strength, move the air itself to refresh your skin, your breath, your life.

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Fan made possibly in France of Pilet feathers, early 20th Century, collection of Philadelphia Museum of Art

In Clarimonde’s a-mortal long life, time is divided into chapters. There are the layers of associations she’s made, her hopes, the realities of history.  Pragmatism and romance in unequal parts, folded together to shape the message, like an origami. Will it resolve into clarity, create a shape?

What do the signs say?

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Photo via 365daysofHalloween.tumblr.com

For spells of time, there is no direction. All is dormant, observant, careful, two steps forward, one step back. Sometimes two steps back. Time and events move with twists and turns shaped by thirsts and focus. There is the search for love and communication,  justice and validation, and the need to know the truth.

Sometimes the signs that matters are moving in the wrong direction are true. Those are the times we hope our intuition is wrong, that the twists of time passing and all the varied push and pull of events that continually converge will influence the outcome and pull us back from the brink of setback or disaster.

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Anna Pavlova considers the cards

Consider Clarimonde, her belief in the beauty and beneficial force of her love keep her aiming for the purest and most generous mutuality.  Every effort so far has failed. Even the saintly Roumauld pushed her back inside a coffin with a stake through her heart out of misguided fear. His regrets come too late.

Yet she knows she must hold on, even if by a thread. Go forward, and wait for the possibilities that may open a new path when the next time comes. Grace and dignity and hope require patience and a smile.

Required most of all is to dwell on the beauty of the details of life as it unfolds.

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“Mortimer Offner (b. 1900) – Lisa’s Arms, c.1924”

Amor Fati. Eternal Recurrence. Acceptance and contentment in the repetitions of life, in her immense life, in your short life, in all its details, even through eternity. Most importantly, holding on to the force of love and passion within yourself, and perhaps in others, in the infinite possibilities.

Perfumes to read by: Woodland Iris by The Exotic Island Perfumer, Dragonfly by Zoologist, Nectars des Îles by Envoyage Perfumes — all composed by Juan M. Perez, one of my favorite indie perfumers. I have come to see him as the embodiment of equanimity through devotion to his innately beautiful native island of Puerto Rico.

Further interpretation of Amor Fati:

A poem by Sandra Lim

Please open and read the above live links in color, because there’s always more behind the scenes. They may serve to reveal new facets of original and fresh beauties that soothe and open the heart. Even within our current atmosphere of uncertainty and stress.

Photos above are as credited in captions.

Copyright 2018, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.

Fellow Travelers

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Our fellow travelers — sometimes we identify with them so much we feel we can be them, at least for awhile, or like to try their spirit on like a persona, using an article of clothing, or their perfume.

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A lady’s riding habit, English, circa 1890. In perfume form, Hermes will always take you there, on horseback. Perfume both clean and dirty, the push and pull of clean lines set against the efforts of sporty energetic activity. Often demonstrated by overheating while in the freshest decorative air.

We have our closest friends, sometimes so much alike to us we are like relations. They are our fellows in that they magnify us by reflection, chime in their harmonies with ours, or like memory streams flowing together naturally into a river.

1899 a little summer walk in the country with friends, and all as it should be

1899, a little summer walk in the country with friends, and all as it should be

Our perfumes may complement one another. Pichola by NVC is a perfume that recalls friendship with its warmth and sheer beauty.

 

Some fellow beings take on the difficult task of drawing us towards them, against all the more comfortable attractions of similarity. Indeed, proving that opposites attract like magnets (in the vein of someone ultra feminine in Black by Comme des Garcons)

Some of her friends take on the most difficult jobs

Some of her friends take on the most difficult jobs

Fellowship can mean that together with an attractive opposite, you can be both Beauty and Beast. Think of wearing Ma Bête by Eris

She is both beauty and beast. La Belle et le Bête, circa 1940. Tirage argentique d’époque” André Pieyre de Mandiargues – Masques de Leonor Fini. It seems like yesterday, this party. 1y

She is both beauty and beast. La Belle et le Bête, circa 1940. Tirage argentique d’époque” André Pieyre de Mandiargues – Masques de Leonor Fini. It seems like yesterday, this party.

Or recognize yourself in a fellow traveller you may not even know or ever meet. A sense of antiquity within the present, the scent of roses, much worn or given in honor of legends and hero/ines. Isn’t it so that in one single day you can transform many times with perfume? Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose.

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Cecil Ehn’s collection.

Crushing on a a fellow you feel you could have known, from times past,

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“Gustave Caillebotte et son chien Bergere sur la place du Carrousel,” 1892

By the end of Summer, my taste has increased for incense, the most primal and spiritual of perfumes. Fellow travelers in the form of perfumes show how to burn incense in veneration of the material world. 

Extrait strength distillations, fragrances created over time within ancient cathedrals and monasteries, magically turned sheer (Immortal Mine in a new lighter, spray form) or with close to the skin intensity (Avignon by Comme de Garcons) or interpreted memory (Reve d’Ossian by Oriza L Legrand. 

Summer Memory Palace

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Geoffrey Munn’s “tiaras: past & present”

Geoffrey Munn’s “tiaras: past & present”

Admirable, to make something out of ‘nothing’ by assembling the bits and pieces that cross your path, pieces of things you might see from the corner of the eye, in the street, within the overgrown weeds, perhaps some things thrown away. They can be selected and cast into metal, enameled, simplified into something beautiful and meaningful to you and others.

As they say, nothing is ever destroyed, or created. We put together in one way or another all the things we have seen, touched, felt, done, and make meaning of it all within ourselves, making it all up as we go along.

Sometimes it turns out to be funny, sometimes it’s not at all, but every time requires a charitable sort of openness to either make or to see, a full appreciation of the moment.

The spirit of Clarimonde never stops looking, bearing in mind innumerable images from past to present, moving forward with speed into the future, as it presses forward of its own volition.

She brings all her baggage, in experience, times, days, memories, along with her everywhere, and then steps back to watch herself build a Memory Palace of shadows. These quiet activities are fueled by their own energy, unfolding effortlessly.

All this suffused with the heat of this Summer. The humidity reaching down beneath skin to affect the mind and the heart, all those memories and speculations are affected by the present conditions she finds before her.

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vintage photo from my-little-time-machine.tumblr.com

She finds things and sees things that delight her and seem connected. For example, this young man caught in the moment by a photograph in 1904.  He is a whole enviable world in himself.  He seems to have dodged a bullet, wears an exaggerated hat and collar, and lingers with style within deteriorating grandeur, perhaps a hotel where many have come and gone. Why? Does he look to see someone he once saw before? To recapture or fix a mood or image of an emotion, a tone, a moment in his life he has used as fuel to propel himself forward?

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colorfulgradients.tumblr.com

It all develops from the faintest shadows, as they accumulate, to become something opaque, or dissipate into clarity, depending on the direction he faces, looking up or down.

Perfume notes:  This gentleman could wear Serge Lutens De Profundis, because he exudes fresh dry energy both still and in forward motion, that holds a shadow within itself.

Perfume news:  I have heard from those who know that there will soon be a more sheer version of Immortal Mine, ready for the Fall. Something to keep in mind while planning the rest of the year in terms of beauty informed by past experience.

 

Copyright 2016 Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.

Images gathered online from Pinterest and Tumblr, as credited above.

 

Clarimonde and the Devil Reflect

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Caleb Tenenbaum

Clarimonde knows the Devil very well.  They meet and go for long walks together in the woods this time of year, as far North as they can cross paths, far enough to feel the rain of leaves and release the crackling earthy scent of those already fallen, collecting underfoot.  They walk and talk for hours, it’s like visiting a counselor, they are each other’s best listeners.

They are each other’s confessors, and dream catchers, releasing their powerful emotions over each other in cascades. They feel free to explain themselves through demonstrations of beauty and strength.

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Christopher Hassler

They are so much the opposite, they are almost the same. They reflect each other and so become reflections that cause the other to disappear for a little while, taking something like a rest from themselves, as a mirror will hold an angle of disappearance if held certain way. Looking into each other so deeply gives them the perspective and distance to see themselves in their true form. They see each other in detail and know themselves as others see them.

There is nothing so fascinating as your own reflection.

They will tell each other their stories of the past year, since last October.  What has happened?  They will tell each other as much as they can, and in telling, understand and even predict what will happen next.

The Devil knows Clarimonde’s tastes and is gracious enough to bring her a gift of a big floral perfume. These she has collected over the years, and they run across a range of refined effects, and she will keep them to enhance her sleep and dreams. She will intoxicate herself to sleep in Carnal Flower, Sarrasins, A la Nuit. The effects and essences of white flowers, masses of them. Tuberoses, jasmine, gardenia, roses, lilies, orange flower, sometimes cooled by iris roots, or sweetened and shaded by violets. These beauties become otherworldly as the vapors and fumes rise up around her and carry her away.

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Lalique

She in return will bring him the respectful gift of incense.  She knows he adores the perfumes of the ancient cathedrals, and other ritual sites, so has brought him Avignon, and Balsamo Della Mecca, and the dry incense of Timbuktu and Dzongkha, and once long ago, Opium. He can be terrible enough in his beauty to have incense rise up around him to announce his powerful presence.  He keeps his claws in when walking with Clarimonde.

They will eventually retire at the mansion of the Beast, who waits for Beauty to arrive, with a yearly standing invitation to be his dinner guests.  All their perfumes blend well together, her florals and his incense, and the luxuriously musky fur of Beast.

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from La Belle et Le Bete by Cocteau

No one can appreciate the nights and the scents and the moon of the Fall of the northern year as much as they do.  They both sleep and wake in stages between furious activity lasting eras. Re-awaken and then meet each other as beings who can understand each other without even a word.  They know the depths of each other’s perfumes and why they love them.

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Abbey Ashra

This day and night together every year marks their great holiday, when the ghosts and the past roam freely over the sky, and they glow with fragrant love for all the beings that have passed into their realms.

 

Copyright 2015, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.

Photos borrowed from Pinterest and around the Web, I do not own these images. Please do not copy or reproduce these images for commercial purposes without researching the licensing.

This is a non commercial website.

Etiolated – To Survive the Winter

 

dogwoods white drifts, photo by Lucy Raubertas

dogwoods white drifts, photo by Lucy Raubertas

It’s hard to remember what Winter was, once Spring comes.

What words are there to describe it?

One is ‘Etiolated’. ‘Slender”. Spent? Even Quiet.

Everything natural knows the need to survive to the end of scarce Winter. Winter is so long. Before Spring comes, even into Summer and Fall, the animals and birds must wait for seeds to form, for fruit to form.

Must get through to the seasons of fruition and harvest. Skills of saving, taking in all the forms of energy available, to last through. The long quiet when there is no more, until next time.

Hibernation, or simple rest and taking in other forms of nourishment. Thirsting for more.  Taking in more information, deep dreaming, the engaged imagination, memory. These means conserve and build Clarimonde’s strength and endurance.

She is one with nature, for all her supernatural qualities and affiliations. A feminine principal, love and romance will make her strong. Though she is never weak even when in stillness and hibernation.

Still, remember, her vitality arises from within.  Much will blossom from the smallest drop of life contributed by a worthy partner.

What words will describe what’s next?

Her future is long, much longer than any Winter.

She keeps her memories in the form of liquid perfumes, captured flowers, fruit, rainwater, warm earth.