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.