Saturday, August 11, 2012

still-sound 93. Hori-kawa

I desire rituals.  I invent new ones and perform old ones all the time.

One summer as a teenager, I took to retreating regularly into my teen bedroom to listen to music.  I would switch on the window air conditioner to eradicate any evidence of the hot Pennsylvania mugginess outside.  I kept all the lights off save a single blue bulb.  I'd select a stick of incense from a small brown paper bag, recently purchased at a Head Shop in New Hope.  I listened to Cocteau Twins at their ethereal best.  Victorialand spun around on the turntable at 45 rpm.  I thought it was cool that a full length LP was meant to be played at 45 rpm and not 33 1/3.  I sat on the carpeted floor and took it all in.

It's so hot today in Los Angeles.  I turned the air conditioner on at home.  I looked for my Victorialand record again, in vain.  Most of my records have been in storage for years because I've been without a record player until recently.  Not Victorialand though.  I stashed it in a special place because that album has always been so important to me and I always wanted it to be close at hand. 

Except I can't seem to remember where that special place is. 

Thankfully I have it on my i-pod.  A stand-in but certainly not a substitution for the record which I will find one day.

I lit a stick of Shoyeido's Hori-kawa incense.  It's a magnicent sandalwood stick warmed with cinnamon and benzoin.  The scent is so soft and cuddly, like a kitten's fur.  I do not have a blue light bulb though and will probably not be buying one.


  1. When I was 10, my family and I lived in the American Embassy in Moscow. My bedroom was literally a broom cupboard: windowless with holes drilled in the door for ventilation. One blue lightbulb was also my preferred illumination for digging prog rock and burning incense!

  2. I imagine that the kitten-fur softness of the Hori-kawa incense would remind you of your feline playmates in the rubbish heaps of Moscow!