Thursday, January 19, 2012

still-sound 33. Ginestra

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.


  1. This pot is wonderful!
    I started getting interested in ceramics when I visited a ceramicist in Carcassone so many years ago - My mother actually bought 2 pots there in a similar cratered glaze in that wonderful blue green. I loved the shape and the change in the colour as the light changed - I am also a Hans Coper / Lucie Rie fan - so this has some added resonance too. Love this direction.

  2. Thanks Fiona! I'm not sure what I like the best, your reference to Carcassone, Lucy Rie or Hans Coper. I'm a huge fan of all three. The ginestra and thistle lasted so long in that pot.