So after a roughly two-year odyssey across an entire continent, financial hassles, legal hassles — settling any estate is a legal hassle — mind-bending grief and generally turning myself inside out to deal with all of it, you’d think I would have changed a little bit. You’d think life in France would give me a taste for that Louis-Louis furniture that pops up everywhere, or at least the Philippe Starck plastic version of it. But no. On the first day of unpacking, what did I do? I created a small corner of Mill Valley, circa pretty much any time from the early ’70’s to the present.
So, Cassina sofa on the left, Poltrona Frau Archibald chair on the right and, sitting on the vintage oriental just in front of the Païste 38″ Earth gong, an Archibald footstool. The paint is Flint, a Little Greene color that is blessedly not as white as it looks in the photo.
I just know you are curious about the gong. Païste, a Swiss company that makes cymbals, symphonic gongs and other things, has a series of planetary gongs. Each one is tuned to the vibrations of a particular planet, in this case the planet Earth. You can feel that gong vibrate, no question. Whether in so doing it causes me to vibrate in tune with the planet is an open question. It does make a glorious sound, which the workers assure me can be heard all over the property. Striking the gong and feeling it resonate is extremely calming — extreme calming, how cool is that? — and for that reason alone I am happy to finally have it unpacked.
My friend Nico, who really does live in Mill Valley, has about a dozen of these gongs. Yes, she has more gongs than planets, so she also has Chiron and a couple of other things. She gives you this amazing facial with special wands, oils, tuning forks and who knows what all. Then, while you are laying there hoping some of that goodness will soak in, she gives you a gong bath. She chooses the gongs that her intuition tells her are what you need that day to be emotionally balanced. That’s when you melt into the table and thank the gods that led you to her little tucked-away office. Nico is fully booked and probably has a waiting list for cancellations or I would tell you how to find her.
I am a long way from Nico right now. Most of the time I make do with YouTube. I hope you enjoy your gong bath. Given my level of technical klutziness, I mostly just hope it’s there for you.