The sun is shining, and beneath it I am off trail in the Italian countryside, amongst seasonal veg, chatting to plants, with my new friend, Teo, Assistant, at The Big O Farm and student, studying for a Masters in Psychology at the near by University of Padua, and home to the Galileo telescope, and his telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus. Where are you from?
On planet earth, I stroke a leaf and enquire “does it work?” he tells me “well, at first I was sceptical, but now I believe I can sweet talk my garden into growing better” we laugh, knee high in sprouting leaves to seasonal bitter greens, leeway to a sea of pumpkins protruding from the plantation’s soil. Im dressed, all in black, fitted trousers, appropriately fitted with knee pads, and a knee length puffa jacket, donated by a local designer boutique, last season’s, delivered to the farm, in time for the changing season, and my size. As we make a selection and pick a seasonal supper of fennel, to be boiled in a local gorgonzola cheese, and enjoyed in the communal kitchen with Petro, his family, extended family, and my new abode for the autumnal season, with a bus ride or bike ride to my loved and lived in museum by Vaporetto, and, or speedboat, as has been known, with some homies and three local Venetians, when the tourists are at bay and the nights draw in. A late arriving guest appears at the farm door, to dinner, Sven, a Space Scientist, and German, interned in China, and travelling, he joins in and shares with us about Mars One’s mission (1) to Mars, whose mission “We will inspire generations to believe that all things (impossible) are possible, anything can be achieved” “Ground control to Major Tom” (2)
The whole organic thing and my interest in all natural began at university when i jumped off the bandwagon of, to some profess(or)(ed) “it’s a fad?” and onto a thing, with those optimists blurring the green minded with the good looking and wrapped it up in a cover, for a magazine titled Fam15, the “Fam” short for fame, inspired by Warhol’s insight for the future, “now, everyone will have 15 minutes of fame”. That and an investigation, a bit of Maslow’s, self actualising (3), no way! a shift in consciousness! lots of government initiatives, the enlightened self-de-termined/fined transgender in prisons has some teething problems – incentives, well, how did they come about, with out the thought to?
Five years on during my travels at sea on a solo spiritual quest (no time for ya dock-side ship gossip lurve!) in-between training for a marathon charity gig and spraying perfume! I handed a cigar to the LSE grad, a gesture of my appreciation on-board/his stepping stone, flexing his pecks being the difference in Africa today, when, in some parts of the world i couldn’t get my every day skincare products, I accumulated a bottle of coconut oil, and, almond oil? organic? couldn’t tell you, but they definitely left my skin feeling silky smooth. It wasn’t till a lot later, I learned about the potential dangers of synthetic chemical ingredients in every day products from food (but skin is our biggest organ, how can those “foods be thy medicine?” (4. Hippocrates) to household cleaning (we use the bog standard) to beauty products, really the long and short of it, from high-end to home-made.
I’ve always been a fan of skincare, I love nothing more than them double figured spa packages or putting on a face mask (home-made from avocado (5) from them 99p sachets), of an evening, to wind down, while relaxing on the couch catching up on emails, and over the recent months since researching what’s gone organic on the high street; from high-end department stores (approx 2 – 3, depending on how you’re defining natural) to back street just off main, a specialist store, on trend and trendy, to my reliable local health store (did you notice how the nuts and dried fruit store got replaced by that wellbeing health store?(6) then, only today i was in a gym products and supplements store, everything’s half price, closing down, and in its place, yep, the wellbeing store (6), and “will you keep your job?” her reply “yes”) Over the years, i’ve tried, organic skincare products, but it’s fair to say, it’s been far and few between, sometimes in the form of a gift, shopping-trips, when i’ve come across an indie store and fell in love with the whole package, I love the experience, then, from habit, and convenience, i veer back to my usual, combined with those finds i picked up on my travels; almond and coconut oil, are both a permanent feature in my skincare basket.
My everyday non organic face skincare is proving difficult to give up on my quest to go organic, though having in-part gone organic, with organic certified products, my toothpaste was organic, is now italian from Florence, my shampoo and conditioners r organic, I alternate between them and the hotel offering, my body moisturiser is organic, my deodorant is not, though I do have one that’s natural; salt with no Parabens, my make-up? nope, the same old (non-organic) and when I do yoga, I use whatever’s in the shower dispenser, I am currently trying one organic face cream, the other, a natural face cream with SPF 50 (though, with Parabens, which i find confusing). But. they are not delivering the results I want, the names of the brands? hmm, my skin type, composition, blood type and DNA all factor in how my skin behaves lathered, leathered and layered in these formulas, so although i’m not, my bf, gf her girlfriend, you and your girl friend may very well, be getting the results you want.
With a growing inclination we owe a lot more to our skin than what we put on it. I ask my Nanna “any tips on skincare?” she acknowledges with a smile, as we’re walking down the isle to her local food store, when the familiar check-out girl smiles and greets Nanna “here comes the queen” it’s not that Nanna walks with any aires and graces or queen like in manner, it’s more an admiration, a respect for the years of wisdom Nanna and her generation of ladies represent. And she’s stylish, every bit the 1950’s starlet in her pencil skirt, a copy of a much loved, lived and worn in one, made from twill tweed, and Scottish, sourced locally, and her diet? pretty much in the realm of war time rations, 1 meat, 3 veg per meal, the occasional glass of white with fish, red with meat water (did u know the range in water quality is extensive? something bout the sodium levels) and a digestive dessert, always And for lunch today? we’re in the country for a Gastro pub lunch, as she eloquently knives and forks with impeccable manners, tucking in to chicken Tikka Masala, a near national dish (7) and a palatable testament to our loved in-immigrant integration, served with half a lager, just on Thursday’s…”Dear” she says, after a morning of gentle enquiry, she delivers “look after what you’ve got, eat a balanced diet, get a good night’s sleep, hydrate and exercise” she walks her dog, her companion, twice a day, “and skincare?” look inward, rather than outward for answers, I heard somewhere, and our addition to the the tip list, “wear sunscreen” as in the song lyric. Back in Venice, the sun is setting, Teo’s stressed-out, by exams, he hands me one of his psychiatry books, i go ‘thanks love! Have you heard of David Foster Wallace?” “it’s a first” and “i love his work, he wrote Infinite Jest, voted one of the great 100 Literary Novels Of All Time” and we’re off jogging cross country in the countryside, when I share with him “in the beginning, I too was skeptical, when I started jogging for 15 minutes on top deck to a ship, at sunrise, increasing, gradually, say, by 5 minutes on your next run to get the circulation going, endorphins flowing, destress.
The whole going organic, does leaves us bare to some pessimistic hypocritical critique, then there’s the labels, parabens in natural products (confuses me) though i’m a walking paradox, with my mishmash of organic, non-organic, natural, with and without parabens, though organic certification regulations are more, it is, as it says on the label, so to speak. can I be organic and wear white non-organic cotton panties made in china? (UK growth trading partner) Without the suffragettes, and a leading lady Emmeline (love the film) (8) fighting for their vote, your vote, my vote, our vote, women today! Would we have the feminine feminism we have today, supported by United Nations campaigns like the “He for She campaign” beautifully fronted by our very own Emma Watson (9)? and her tits! With thanks to yesterday we are today and continue to be progressive in our society, lets hear it for our Grandmas! Ma’s! Without the Dame Anika Roddick (10), and the animal liberation activists of the 70’s would we have the awareness, and free from testing on animals available in store today? So today, zeitgeist philosophy (11) “Geist seiner Zeit” “no man can surpass his own time, for the spirit of his time is also his own spirit” helps me navigate the confusion that is the chaos of contradictions, paradoxically, I apply organic body cream, then slip into my made in China nightdress, with social progression tis no longer only the responsibility of our governments, our socially responsible loved and lived in brands, love marks (on google) are like, us, citizens! who, when talking from “experience“, as philosophers (12), they too, understand transformative, Paradigm shift (13) is the spirit of our times, and with it, organically, organic, is bubbling up, trickling down (14), cross ways, and back to front, but like with any great movement, tis the season to grow? takes time. and with, (years of manifestation) it doesn’t all go to pot! It will be on my face in the formula of organic face cream just right!
So, to go with Grandma’s inherent wisdom, here’s what i’d do! I want! I want! I want! (Id Ego) (15) the latest high-tech face cream from those white coats, clinical testing in the labs as much as i want the natural organic ingredients, loved and chatted to, like the veg, when in Italy! When, We’re running, on the homeward bound, down Via Gatta, Zelarino (Italian “Cat”) (16), simultaneously, chatting about Schrodinger’s cat (17), huh? another paradox, when, the wind blows, as we slow up, cooling off, down by the cabbages, kneeling at the could be kelp, Teo says “these winds, vibrate the leaves and induce changes in plant growth” then, essential, for extracting essential oils and botanical infusions. I want unrefined ingredients: Shea butter, and pressed mint, lavender, lemon, orange, sandalwood, could it compliment my perfume fragrance; Love in Black, and, with frankincense, for there is a fine art in the science of this formula for our faces, hear-say, you gotta encapsulate a certain ingredient in the right amount, so it can be delivered to the skin without overloading the pores, a balance between concentration of actives and science is the work of laboratory expertise. Then, I want to know i’m not endangering my skin with toxins, and I want a cream that’s not destroying the environment (and, so, how’s my little pot of face potion gonna save the world, it’s not! but it’s step in the right (brain (18), intention, therefore of) direction, right through to packaging, (how about we drop a line, up to Nasa, before take off, to their space station; “hello, this is “ground control to Major tom” (2), possibility to print off a biodegradable pot on your Nasa 3D printer? (19)) I want it to be functional, simple, and fit my traveller lifestyle, right in, carry on, for those dry moments on long haul flights. A lot of products that combine nature with tech come with a luxury price tag, and that’s fine! love em, they’ve been lathered, luxuriated, lapping it up, in lotions on me with caviar and gold bits, but luxury today, for me is in the total lack of compromise, on the organic front. I want a face cream that leaves my skin feeling hydrated and glowing with health, locking the moisture into my own cells, without all the toxins, that are a norm in our lives and on our skin. I want a minimum SPF20. Today, as with Mars One’s Mission “all things are possible”(1), and years after, our very own loved icon, Mr David Bowie sung “take your protein pills and put your helmet on” he turned down the dame (20), “i think my spaceship knows which way to go” (1), we can have it all, and i want it all in my 6-12GBP pot of face cream, and i’ve started, by saying to my bf how about we share your homemade organic recipe with the lab, and lets see?
Because love! we are worth it! (2,040)