This morning I drove to the little storage unit we rent in Highland Park. To the pile that already reaches my forehead I added Christmas decorations and a bag full of clothes that I don't wear but don't want to get rid of either. I then drove to a charity shop in Echo Park and donated clothes and random bits that I'll never use. Next to the charity shop is a great used book store called Stories where I've found several treasures in the past. I gave them three books that I've read and will most likely never read again. The man behind the counter said thanks and offered me a milky coffee. I perused the shelves and selected a book by the Dalai Lama.
From Echo Park I made my way to Silverlake and popped into the flower shop next to a cafe. I was looking for some small flowers to put in a pot I made and picked up yesterday from the ceramics studio. I selected a stem of thistle and a stem of ginestra which a woman wrapped in brown paper and bound with white ribbon.
Many years ago when I was a senior in college I returned to Providence, Rhode Island after winter break. It was January and my bedroom was freezing. Clean but freezing. I had cleaned it entirely, from top to bottom with Murphy's soap the day I got back. I walked to a flower shop on Thayer street after cleaning and bought a bunch of ginestra. They were cheap and I thought they were beautiful. When I returned to my apartment on Wickenden Street I was amazed to find that the ginestra filled my room with an intense, beautiful scent. I underestimated the tiny white blossoms on the green stems. I remember thinking that I was ready for a new year and a new semester because my room was clean and freezing and smelled of ginestra. Since then that particular scent makes me think of new starts.
I placed a little ginestra in each glass bowl that ornamented the tables at my father's memorial service in 2004. I was a bit shell-shocked at the time as his death was completely sudden and I had only flown in from London the day before. I had packed a jasmine scented candle made by Diptyque in my suitcase. Even though there was little time to pack I knew to bring it because I imagined the lobby of the building to smell of jasmine as friends and family of my father signed the memorial book. The hall itself smelled of cold, clean ginestra.
|Ginestra and thistle in a pot I recently made.|