|The Trouble with Incense…
I’ve been thinking a lot about incense recently.
I really like incense, myself – I love the smell. And smells are important, hard-wired into our brains and associated with specific memories, people and places. We’ve all had that Proustian experience of smelling something and being taken back to a place and time far away – cut grass dragging us into summers of the past or a hit of spice which reminds us viscerally of food eaten far away.
For me, incense smells like church. And so it is full of good associations – it reminds me of happy occasions and friendship and worship and prayer and, most of all, the Eucharist. It is a smell I associate with mystery and wonder, with liturgy and worship and the presence of God. I love the way the smell lingers so that when I pick up my coat midweek I am sometimes hit again by the ghost of incense and am reminded amid the busyness of daily life of the stillness of God. Read more