Strawberry Incense, Patchouli, Big Bell Bottoms, and Going Barefoot
Patchouli, Peace, Love
The Era was What we Called the Age of Aquarius
I was living in The Age of Aquarius, or what we were hoping was that new enlightened time. The 5th Dimension was a group who wrote a song about the Age of Aquarius. It was a song that I associate with all of the groovy scents that stir my memories of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Whenever like minded, like dressed, like enlightened folks would meet, we would throw up the "V" sign, and shout, "Peace Man", or some such greeting. The music of this time was very filled with meaning and hope for a world where people sought Peace and Love for each other, and eschewed War.
The Vietnam War really jarred our society like never before. An entire generation of young American males were whisked off to Southeast Asia, to take part in a political action. Unfortunately the majority were 19 years old, they still could not vote at that time, nor buy liquor. These decent American men were made to commit actions they were warned against in Sunday School, but lying politicians tried to say it was for America's protection.
The blame for drug use, rock and roll, Woodstock, swingers, mini skirts and hippies were heaped on those seeking enlightenment. The blame sits at the feet of the same greedy industrialists who have always made blood sacrifices for lucre. One of the most terrible things was that propaganda turned civilians against our Veterans when we were truly on the same side.
There were many wonderful things that came from The Age of Aquarius, the main best thing was a revolution of Love and Peace toward all fellowmen and women. Civil Rights, and expanded consciousness'.
Peace Love and Groovy
Incense and Patchouli
Incense and Patchouli.
These scents always calm me. My childhood was one of a lone gypsy, and I remember going into the Indian shop, off of Valley Blvd in Alhambra, California, and being drawn in by the scents of the incense. Bare feet hidden beneath my giant bell bottoms, I would walk around the store as long as they would let me. I usually didn't have much money, but sometimes I could buy a stick or couple of cones of incense.
When he was not busy, the proprietor would sometimes take time to explain the different scents, oils and batiks, and the powers they carried. Although I understood some of what he said, usually only a quarter of what he said made sense to me, and I felt as if I was gaining some knowledge in what before was completely mystical and mysterious.
Once, I was able to save up enough money to purchase a batik created on muslin cloth. It seemed as if it took forever to save for that $5.00 Batik. As I recall, the shop owner was astounded that me, this pesky young street urchin, came up with the funds for such a grand purchase. The batik was one of several which had been hanging on the ceiling in square patterns above the shop.
For some reason my overwhelming happiness at my accomplishment of saving, and purchasing a needed and wanted item, and the sight of the shop owner climbing to the top of his rickety ladder to retrieve my batik, caused me to break into near hysterical laughter. Until then, I had been intimidated by him. I guess he was large to me, hovering to make sure I did not steal anything. Up on the ladder, I could see his spindly legs, and that he was no bigger than me. Point of view is everything.
The cloth was dyed purple with characters that seemed to be from the Chinese alphabet, but were random creations of the person using paraffin to mark the cloth before dipping it into the dye. The colors and design of the batik were comforting to me. I loved that the cloth was large enough to sit on, lay on, and cover me. Another thing I loved was that the cloth would fold small enough to carry in my pack.
I am not sure what ever happened to my Batik, but I will always remember the comfort of the smell of all of the incense soaked into the batik, from that Indian shop, the scratchy Indian cotton against my face.
Patchouli, A Familiar Scent That Brings Positive Memories
Patchouli is another scent that I associate with positive times and people in my life.
I remember the first GAP store on Valley Blvd & Garfield Avenue. They burned strawberry incense. That is where I bought my first giant bell bottom hip hugger jeans, crop top blouse, and leather belt with the clasping hands belt buckle made from metal.
These are smells that trigger many good memories.
These are the streets I lived on, finding scents and creating memories.
I bowled, and hung out at Valley Bowl
My old address; back in the day
Joni Mitchell at Big Sur singing about Woodstock Music Festival in 1969
Love is the Answer
Back In The "Good Old Days"...
Were the old days really so good, or do we just remember with gentleness?
While Living the Hardships
When we are in the moment, we are just putting one foot in front of the other, doing the best we can to get through it all. Some of us do not have time for reflection, but the problems, issues and struggles are in our faces. Later, when we have time to think about the past, and we take the time and allow the feelings to flow, it seems as it is only then we can understand the whole, and realize the tough times can be some of the best memories. Weird isn't it?
A Special Thank You! February 2015
For the reader who came and made sizable purchases through this Hub, Thank You- Blessing Way to you.
June 27, 2013. This Hub came about by a question asked by sallybea: "What smell or taste triggers something in your memory?"
© 2013 Lori J Latimer