Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Paper, the moon and other radiant spots of happiness

Sandy Mastroni's Moon with a knowing look in its eye.
Paperways large notebook, French grid pages.
Gifts of Christmas, plentiful and wonder-packed, include Sandy Mastroni's stuffed and painted moon with noodle arms and the Paperways large notebook with French grid pages.  The photo above doesn't quite do justice to the cover color, which is more a celery shade than lime.  While I wasn't paying attention during the past two years, I became a fool for grid-ruled pages - in notebooks, Project Life cards, index cards, Post-It notes.  While mine is not a name generally thought of when talking about "order," grid-lined pages appeal to something within that has been shouted down.  For two weeks in the 1960s I worked for a bookkeeping firm, writing cramped yet tidy numbers in bulky, confusing books.  We parted with good will after two weeks.  I became a journalist.

We notebook fetishists, for that is who we are, not simply appreciators, too passive a title, really do lust after any bound collection of pages in which we can sketch, doodle, jot, muse, record or write.  We can discuss pens and mechanical pencils another day.

Yesterday also brought reasons for gratitude, the first being an ability in my better moments to be in love with what may seem under-valued treasures.  In no particular order from January 6, they are:

*A bag of pears from Trader Joe's that smelled the ways pears ought to smell but rarely do.  Heavenly.

*The sample dabbing of "Femme" Parfum de Toilette from Surrender to Chance which could still be detected more than 24-hours after application.  I have not found that to be true of any other fragrances for many, um, moons.  What they say of it at the site:
Rochas Femme was created at the height of The Depression by Edmond Roudnitska, at the request of Marcel Rochas, and it was to be a gift for Rochas' wife. The story has it that Roudnitska created Femme while while pondering a rubbish dump and a paint factory.  Olivier Cresp reformulated Rochas Femme in 1989, and there are two distinct versions, the post-1989 version bringing in the cumin note.  This scent is full-bodied, said to be inspired by Mae West, and it shows. There is nothing of a young girl or ingenuie in this scent. It's a perfume that's been around the block and now has the whole block following her like the cats following that little thief in "Love Potion No. 9."

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*Being quoted in an interview with friend Claire Beynon amidst words from, among others, Claire, Pablo Neruda and Wendell Berry.  I swooned with delight.  Article is in "Down in Edin" on-line magazine, found here.

*The warmth and comfort of higher temperatures in Los Angeles, one degree short of the record 85 degrees.  On New Year's Day the noontime high was somewhere near 40, had been 33 at 8 a.m.  I do apologize to those with windchill factors that dip below zero.  Some of us are hothouse flowers.

*The joy of seasonal fruit, particularly how easy mandarin oranges and navel oranges are to peel.

*Taking a nap.

It was the scent of pears that caught me the most off-guard, such a delicate, distinctive sweetness, almost watery yet not vague.

We are meant, I swear, to fall in love with everything we possibly can.  If it could take form, I would dance with the way pears smell.


Just Jen said...

- the Down Edin mag is very beautiful
- love the quote!
- I have never thought of pear's scent ... I will have to remember to inhale next time I eat one!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jen - Thank you. Yes, isn't it a beautiful magazine - the photography, the glorious green of the region. You will be happy to find a sniffable pear, happy and surprised. xo

Melissa Green said...

And as for those of us who lust with all our being for notebook/sketchbook/bound pages (you know who you are!!), it is an unspeakable joy, one which ought to have a robust title, a guild, a school, a fan club, an astonishingly large following on any social media you care to name. It like a lust for chocolate--those of us who have it crave it magnificently, are not satisfied with powdered cocoa--it has to be the real thing, the darker the better. Notebooks--gridded, lined, fine-lined (my personal favorite), blank--yes, there is a heavenly smell to pears that fruit doesn't have anymore, as they tend to come from oversprayed, early picked, ripened in boxes in moving vans en route, etc., not from a knobby, lightning-struck, wasp-and-sun-heavy branches of summer where they burst and drizzle their honey just before they fall--that's what a pear smells like to me.

I aver there is a heavenly smell to paper, the ink it was scored with, the glue that holds it, the binding, the ribbon that marks your place like a missal. Inhaling deeply in an art store or a stationery store used to set off fireworks of pleasure neurons that barely twitch now. Still, inhaling notebooks these days, though I am not sure whether I am inhaling a loved aroma or only a remembered one (is that even possible, I wonder?), it is the deep heavy romance, as that for pears, mandarin oranges, lilacs heavy over the sea wall, and chocolate. xo

Elizabeth said...

Those last two sentences were everything!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - A true Sister of the Guild. There is, I just found in the past few days, a Notebook fanatics FB page. I will send you the link. I don't think we can inhale the beloved, remembered aroma, it would be a wooden nickle and we wouldn't be fooled. We know it when we smell it, we know what it ought to be. A Pasadena bookstore from my childhood, visited on rare Saturday mornings with my father, I know I could pick its scent out of a line-up all these years later. Olfactory romance. Not a bad name for a business. I'm off to have cards printed. Thank you for your lightning-struck, wasp-laden memories. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Thank you. From Melissa's comments, I've taken up Olfactory Romance as a new mantra. I may change my name. I see pear-green dance slippers. xo

Barbara said...

The Down Edin magazine is lovely, your friend Claires artwork is gorgeous. And I love your quote right there with the amazing Wendell Berry and Pablo Neruda, two of my favorites.

Oh the pears...I adore their scent. I had carefully selected and carried home pears to ripen just a wee bit more, in a brown paper bag. On New Years eve my friend and I ate them with slices of Havarti with dill, and a glass of champagne. First we sniffed them and passed them around the room and made everyone else smell them. swoon. Yes, it does feel like dancing, I just didn't recognize it till you said it.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Barbara - Your pear feast stirs the imagination and all the senses. Dill would be the perfect addition. The Trader Joe's organic pears are/were not that ripe, which made it even more surprising that they were so fragrant. Thank you for your kind words. Claire is a remarkable talent, an equally remarkable human and yesterday I met, on FB, the woman responsible for the magazine. It truly is beautiful. I am awed by those who take on such massive tasks and execute them with such thoroughness and style. Let us dance. xo