Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

Like many people, I’m pretty aware that weird things get put into deodorants nowadays and since I don’t relish the thought of getting breast cancer- or any kind for that matter due to a deodorant, I switched over to deodorants that mask odor but don’t stop the sweat. These failed absolutely and completely. I became a stinky person who regularly washed a few times a day under her arms. Washing three times per day (or more) made the skin on my underarms dry out and become itchy. I felt like a bit of a monkey at times, scratching at my armpits. It just wasn’t cool.

Until…I finally pulled myself together and ordered the goods. And this is what I made

The recipe is all angry chicken’s doing. How people figure these things out on their own, beats me but I’m so in love with her recipe. Is that possible? Of course! I’m on day two after lots of exercise and still not a stink anywhere. Not one trace. And the ingredients are loveable to the body. It makes me happy and it just might make you too. It’s so simple and completely gratifying to make and use. And pretty inexpensive! It takes only a tiny bit to make 4 oz. and I’m figuring this 4 oz. will last a good while.

On a bookish note, there’s a new illustrated cover of “Wrinkle in Time” out. Here it is…it’s just so pretty, I had to share.

Isn’t it lovely? Even better in person, of course. The illustrator, Taeeun Yoo, has an etsy shop too.

So that’s a few things I’m loving right now. What’s making you happy this spring?

Comments (3):

  1. Cindi, Mom, Me

    May 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    This is really cool. I’ll have to check it out.

  2. mollie

    May 13, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Hey, Angry Chicken did an update on her use of the deodorant today. She’s still loving it. Oooh, and thanks for showing off the lovely cover of that book…if only I liked A Wrinkle in Time I would get it. (We listened to it on a trip once and I thought I would go out of my mind! I’m just not one for fantasy type things)

  3. Catherine

    May 20, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Cindi: Tell me if you make it! or I could always make some for you, if you wanted to try it.
    Mollie: Sorry it took me so long to approve of your comment. I thought I Had but apparently I have to approve of comments in two separate ways to make it appear…how bureaucratic of this thing…anyway, I’ve never been able to listen to a book and like it. I get way too bored. and “wrinkle in time” is a quirky bird of a book …and it’s quirk fits in well with reading on a stormy night! I find myself always starting it on a stormy night…

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Ouroboros in the Park

Japanese anemone flowers open blush pink petals in the park.  Their tall, delicate stems hold up the tender flowers, and in the centers glow tiny pistil-laden suns. Furry carpenter bees buzz in a frenzy, adoring the tiny suns. Like all true worshipers, they circle round and round the yellow centers, smearing themselves in joy and pollen.

I also circle a center, but the object of my adoration is the park itself. As the path guides me around and around, my body, full of the usual tensions and distresses, takes the cue, finds the beat and the measure and walks to it.

The English Romantic Poets of the early 19th century were great walkers and believed that walking was essential to writing to poetry. With the body busy, the mind can walk freely, investing in its visions and tunneling down into what were previously subterranean thoughts.

This small park is my open field, my verdure, my ramble through hill and dale. My feet move on, sometimes slowing to a near pause, other times hurrying, suddenly propelled by a new and vivid notion.

About the fifth time around, a sort of mesmerism occurs and I fall under the trance of the day. The circle becomes a mantra uttered by my feet—knees, hips, shoulders, and arms follow along and we head down the path. I must walk, I must keep walking, I must continue to walk and the resolution becomes a reassurance as a cool breeze fills my lungs; I am alive and refreshed.

I pass under the oaks and dodge their falling acorns. Sometimes I entertain the notion that squirrels are hurling them, but when I catch sight of their small triangular faces they look as startled as me. It is the oaks themselves that are throwing the acorns down. I momentarily consider bringing an umbrella, opening it when I walk under the oaks, but this an old consideration that I’ve been contemplating for years of autumns and I’ve never acted on it. Instead, I dodge and the squirrels stare hard.

Finally I have to go but the revolutions and bees in the park stay with me even after I leave, continuing  with their wheeling. They pass through the days and nights, rapturous and serene, monotonous some days and a miracle on others, and on most days both. They exist in the circle that is sometimes opened, sometimes closed. Within the circle, everything changes and nothing changes each time we pass through.

 

Kazuaki Tanahashi, Miracle at Each Moment

 

Pocket-Sized Photo Diary

There are small moments that must be filled. They open and expand while waiting in doctors’ and dentists’ offices; in long, slow moving grocery check-out lines; or in those few, empty moments before leaving the house or office for another destination. Staring into space is my favorite pastime and generally fills up all the minutes given (and much more), but there are other waiting times when my spirit needs a gentle pick-me-up without doing much conscious work.

That’s when I open the Photo Album on my phone and start scrolling. I discovered this delight quite by accident while lounging in my therapist’s waiting room one afternoon. I was feeling flattened by living with PTSD and other health issues, and I wanted muster up a little hope before I went into my session. So in a despondent, weary way, I opened up the photo album app. To my surprise, I was greeted by pictures of flowers, landscapes and book excerpts that I had busily taken days ago and had already forgotten. I scrolled back farther and it was much the same, mixed with pictures of friends, family, pets, and friendly dogs I had met on my walks.

I discovered my photo diary which had been my pocket all this time. “I never travel without my diary,” Oscar Wilde wrote. “One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” It still holds true; nothing is so interesting as what we took notice of days ago, weeks and months ago, be it written in a journal or snapped with a viewfinder.

As days spin into weeks, months, and years, it is hard to catch hold of any kind of underlining rhythm or purpose. A photo diary offers a kind of consolation. There’s nothing sublime there, it simply marks changing seasons, interests, travels, and friendship. But perhaps on the difficult days where everything is too much including our own thoughts, a photo diary is a moment of gentle release. The lightness of ephemerality eases the heavy load of living.

 

“But life itself is short, and so you are terribly agitated by everything that is eternal.”

–Eileen Chang, On Music