Scents of Time

Assignment: Talk about your experience of time RE: scent and memory in time / traveling back in time in memory, etc. Get philosophical, or don’t. Dazzle us.

Once I was at a theater and restaraunt owned by a troupe of blind and deaf actors who were mostly 40+. There was a narrator, and some sounds from the actors. But they moved across the stage without other directors or assistants that we saw. The opening scene involved all the actors kneading dough. Real dough. At the end of the scene they put bread into a real oven that was rolled on and off stage right.

The play was interesting in that the theater was really dark; all the edges of the stage were visible and without spotlights all the actors were illuminated. What stands out for me is a story of one woman, it was the actress’ memoir of being on a swing as a little girl. She wasn’t understood and couldn’t understand so much because she was young and physically disabled. However she understood the swing, and how to get there, and when it would or wouldn’t happen. And this is being read by the narrator as we watch the actress, much older, swing with the same beautiful countenance of a young person, matching the notes of the narrators story that she couldn’t hear.

Meanwhile, the theater begins to smell of the bread we forgot they cooked – and maybe thought was just a prop. And while I don’t remember any other vignettes or distinct narration, the intensity of the smell mirrored and matched the depth of the scenes until they rolled the oven back out, pulled out the bread and invited the audience on stage.

Jaffo, Israel, 2012