Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’m sharing my thoughts and reflections on a lexicon (vocabulary specific to a certain subject) of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words. Ludic is defined as “playful, in an aimless way” and that’s my plan for approaching this challenge – keeping my feet on the joy trail and meandering wherever the daily word takes me.
I is for…
indagate – to search out and answer or investigate. First appearance English dictionary in 1623.
Earlier this year I took a course on the scents of ancient Egypt taught by an Egyptologist and co-hosted by a natural perfumer. It was fabulous, and both the Egyptophile and natural perfumer in me was in serious bliss. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as it helped jumpstart and re-vitalize a major, long-term project I let languish during the wobbliness of last year.
The project itself began with a dream – one in which I traveled the spice route in ancient times. I literally smelled the rich scents while dreaming and woke up knowing I wanted to explore this. The perfumer in me was overjoyed with the idea of creating a number of scents, and the researcher in me was blissed out thinking about all the ways to approach this and all the interweaving of threads to explore. The journaling geek in me knew this would mean the creation and keeping of many journals. And my creative heart knew that there would so many potential spinning-off points along the way – zine updates, perhaps a limited edition artist book, months and potential years of listening to the plant allies and creating relationships, and on and on and on. So much fun, so much magic, so much to immerse myself in.
The project expanded in the sense that in addition to following the Spice Route, I also felt called to include two other areas/timelines. Before the dream came to me, I had been establishing a relationship with Blue Lotus, which happened to be immensely important in ancient Egyptian culture. So I decided to add ancient Egypt and its sacred flowers and fragrances to my project. And then all of a sudden I was slammed with knowing I also needed to include an exploration of Mayan flowers and scents as well. I was thrilled with this addition as well, particularly since as such unexpected developments often do, it arrived with curious synchronicities and delightful nudges. If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I do my very best to follow those little whispers from spirit.
Something else that’s true about me is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE to be working on multi-layered things and many projects (or sub-projects) at one time. It fuels me. I don’t function very well in a strictly linear progression – my heart and mind yearn to be free to choose what calls to them in the moment. It used to trouble me as I didn’t really know others who liked to work this way. Still, once I realized my real comfort zone was accepting that I like living and working and writing as close to stream of consciousness as possible, I settled down into joyful acceptance of how I am and of my process. I am eternally grateful for that understanding – it made a world of difference for me.
The thing for me about being interested in many things and working on multiple projects is that it fosters such delicious and often unexpected cross-pollination. I’m really interested in, and rather skilled at finding connections between seeming disparate things. I’m not sure I believe anymore that it’s an actual skill I have like some superpower, but I’m more inclined to think that my process of juggling multiple inspirations and willingness to fall down rabbit holes has simply honed a natural inclination all humans have to find connection.
I’m excited and inspired about picking up this project again, and looking forward to where it takes me. My destination point is unknown and that’s totally fine with me. I know I’ll have fun wherever I end up. And I know I’ll have learned some fascinating things. How does it get any better than that?
I can’t help but think of the admonishment by Walker Evans: “Die knowing something. You are not here long.” Wise words.
I’ve managed to take a rather meandering path to tell you what I’m currently involved in researching and investigating but to be fair, you were warned. Walking alongside me is to discover the path is never straightforward. But now it’s your turn to share. What are you interested in investigating? What do you celebrate knowing? Do your dreams invite you into real-world explorations? Is your sense of smell active in dreams? Do tell – you know I love to hear.