Soap and memories

I have a favorite bath soap. It’s Pre de Provence sage soap. (And I only just discovered that I can buy it from Amazon! I have to go a bit out of my way to buy it.) I also like the verbena.

This week I was near a store in Cambridge that has small bars, and I went in to buy a few. (A few is all I can justify buying at a time; these babies are expensive!) As I perused the display, there were pink bars I didn’t remember seeing before. “Peony” they said. I love peonies. So I picked one up for a sniff, and it reminded me of
my Grandma Tracey. I love memories of my Grandma Tracey, so I bought one.

Big mistake. I used it yesterday morning for my shower, and it was fine. Nice moisturizing feel, but no icky film. Pleasant fragrance.

Until—until I came home, that is, and now my small apartment has unmistakable whiffs of eau de parfum du bordel. (It smells like a French whorehouse, as the saying goes.)

Beauty from sorrow

One of the people I’m coming to know in that funny, online, “I’ve never met them” way is Tateru Nino, a fellow denizen of Second Life and Twitter (who happens to live in Australia). She’s a prolific blogger and writer, ready with insightful commentary about the unfolding metaverse. She has posted a lovely essay prompted by the death of her father: Remembering.

It’s a funny thing, memory. Well, my memory is. I remember that I was at places, knew people, did things. Except I remember them like they were something that someone told me. Not like I was the person who was there. Most of those memories are gone now, anyway. A year or two years or three, and there’s just vague fragments, like a half-remembered story or a distant dream — yet somehow, I still remember pretty much everything I ever learned.