Nov. 16, 2012
There’s something mesmerizing about flickering candlelight reflected in old silver. It raises memories I can’t remember—long ago lives, long ago times. Other things that awaken those tantalizing, haunting, impossible almost-memories—
Sights: staring into flames (fireplace, candles, campfires), evergreens at Christmastime, lightning flashing, falling snow, autumn foliage, when the world is washed pink with dawn, a radiant, full moon, red-gold sunsets, old graveyards with inscriptions on stones that bring tears, antique book bindings, ancient stone castles and churches, lighthouses on a rocky shore, clouds over the moon
Sounds: beautiful music (especially in a minor key, and particularly violin and cello), the ocean crashing on the shore, burbling, flowing creeks, rain on the roof, wind in the treetops or moaning around the eaves, the crackle and snap of burning logs, deep baritone voices of men (either speaking or singing), church bells, the sound of taps played at a funeral, wolves howling, owls hooting, distant train whistles
Smells: rain mixed with dust, sagebrush in the desert, vanilla, roses, lilacs, honeysuckle, violets, jasmine, mint leaves, whatever that smell is in the deep woods—rotting leaves and wood, I guess, cloves embedded in oranges, baking bread, baking spice cookies, roasting turkey (even though I’m a vegetarian). (I love the smell of chocolate, but it makes me hungry, rather than bringing up the feeling I’m looking for.)
Don’t know what senses these are– the delicious light, shivery feeling of something mildly spooky, passages of scripture (especially Isaiah), some poetry (“The Listeners,” by Walter de la Mare, for example, or “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manly Hopkins),
Almost a dream, almost a memory.