nadal oodh

How much am I willing to pay for peace?

On my way toward an uptown pub to meet a friend, I inhale the scent of meditation. Outside, there are scarves, carefully folded colors in piles like square clouds. I am early to meet him, so I stroll inside, expanding my lungs as aromatic smoke covers me.

I am brought back to Bob Dylan in tape deck of two door hatchback; I am fifteen. I am a passenger in a car driven by Farrah, the first hippie I ever secretly loved. Her skin was drenched in patchouli and her hair gathered in knots and all those freckles and her long skirts and nose ring. At that time, we both volunteered at the same place, spending hours with humans who were placed in a home because their minds grew differently than other’s. We completed puzzles and drew, listened to music, and donated our time to people who– for the better part of the day– were ignored.

In this tiny store full of homemade candles and tinctures and sweet-scented oils, I spoke with the singular worker about slowing down.

“This is the first moment of my day where I am stopping just to breathe.”

He rubbed a package of incense together and asked me to inhale.

“This is nadal oodh,” he said.

And my knees began to curve from the musk mangling up my insides in the most exquisite way. It was far too pricey, so I began to look around. I breathed in nag champa and frankincense and guggul and camphor. My fingers settled on sandalwood and as we exchanged currency (dollars, receipt), he grabbed one stick of nadal oodh and gave it to me.

“Fill your space with this,” he said. “Save it for a moment when you need your air to tell you things.”

I am percolating in ruminations. My soul has been searching it’s self and sometimes I think about joining in. I am not sure where I should be, but I need to be somewhere.