11 June 2008

On Becoming

One of the best soaps I make from scratch is my Ooh La La-vender, a goat's milk soap with a purple swirl and a delicious lavender scent. Goat's milk is wildly popular right now for its skin-nourishing properties, and lavender essential oil is always a much sought after aromatherapy scent. While lavender in lotions and MP soaps tends to stay pretty herbaceous/floral, in CP it develops more, resulting in a spicy, herbaceous scent with just the slightest hint of floral underneath. Both men and women have liked it with the men commenting that it's a good lavender, simply because it doesn't smell girly.

While Ooh La La-vender develops into this sensuous soap, able to transport the user to a state of aromatherapy-induced mellowness, the raw soap is anything but sensuous or mellow. In fact, it stinks! Imagine caustic scalded milk that sort of burns your airways when you smell it. That's what this soap smells like as it's in process. The addition of the lavender scent does nothing but layer on an initially strong lavender smell on top of the caustic scalded milk smell. The soap is becoming.

I think we're like that, too. We don't start out "finished," any more than soap does. It takes work - experiences, decisions, beliefs, community - to complete the "becoming" process. Actually, unlike with soap, we as people never finish. Yet, in our process of becoming, sometimes we stink. Sometimes we may be somewhat caustic. Hopefully we're often willing to be raw. We have to interact with people far different from us, just as lye interacts with oils and butters, in order to achieve optimal results. Our hope is that, upon completing this process, or perhaps even during it, other people can use us to enrich their lives, just as a good bar of soap will enrich ours.

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