Clucky The Two-Spirit Chicken

Clucky the Two-Spirit Chicken A friend of mine told me some time ago that many tribes of Africa and Native America have the various words for people born not 100% masculine or feminine. One such word is a term of respect; the Two Spirit is respected as having great, special wisdom, and is indeed often a shaman. I, my friends, have met a chicken-shaman. Two-Spirit-The-Story-of-a-Movement-Unfolds/http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/two-spirits/ My artist-friend Bill Christman trucks in all forms of junk. The heavier and weirder the better. He turns the junk of the world into beautiful things. His work reminds me of Howard Finster, but without … Continue reading Clucky The Two-Spirit Chicken

peaches, turtles, and trust

PEACHES Our peach tree was laden with hard green peaches when my friends and I circled around the firepit earlier this summer. It happened to be the last day it was cool enough to abide a fire. The kids ran around playing with shaving cream and the water hose as we watched the fire and chatted. Peaches are among the tenderest of fruits; they do not travel well, so one usually sees them only in season. Then my friends’ little girl Razmi stopped playing and came over to us. She had noticed the fallen green peaches lying all around us … Continue reading peaches, turtles, and trust

oud and stars

We blue-violet girls floating above the earth Goitered, bipolar, hysterical, vestibular Torn open and sewn back together too tight silent when we talk divided against ourselves Mud v/s light hidden under flowery print sheaths our mothers made us Like Venus, we are morning star and evening star both. Over the years we built dense structures of neurons to protect our golden star-essence which grew darkly resinous, then spiky, defending against outside light the applejack retreating farther, constricting into a dense point of light For protection, we curve our bodies down and in. Look up, my blue-violet sister! Sirius leaves for … Continue reading oud and stars

Oud

Photo Credit Candice Fee and Stephen Fee. Oud is one of the most expensive, beautiful perfume ingredients in the world. It has been used in religious rituals for anointing since recorded history.   Oud comes from a resin extracted from the heartwood of an Aquilaria tree. These trees grow mainly  in India, China, Malaysia, Cambodia. The transcendent, long-lasting scent is prized and well-known as perfume in east. Aquilaria wood and sap are normally light in color, and oud is only formed in trunk and roots of trees that have been penetrated, often by an insect called the  Ambrosia beetle. This … Continue reading Oud

Meeting Philip Glass

Meeting Philip Glass (painting by Chuck Close) This summer I was unexpectedly able to apprehend Phillip Glass on his way from the St. Louis opera house to the reception, I rudely stopped him for a moment and grabbed Phillip Glass’s hand. He is eighty now, a little frail but still traveling. His entourage saw that I had neither camera nor sharpie, so they paused curiously and allowed me my three seconds. My carefully rehearsed spiel failed, and I managed to blather mainly “thank you for your work” and breathless gibbered something philosophical about how his circular forms could convey both … Continue reading Meeting Philip Glass

My Brother Russ

Today is my brother’s birthday, and I am 616 miles away from him. I wanted to share some of my fondest memories of us growing up. We were a non-yelling, quiet family, so no one really talked unless it was necessary. I was an odd little girl who had trouble playing normal-kid games; I was alone a lot, because my parents and much-older brothers had work to do. I preferred finding blueberries, climbing trees, and making up stories about the fringe of woods at the edge of our four acres. (I dared not go deep into the woods). We moved … Continue reading My Brother Russ

The Genius of Water

Now officially seven and two-thirds, my son can jump into the deep end.  With this newfound confidence, he decided he should teach me something as I was sitting on the edge of the pool. He said “Mama, put your hands in. Can you feel the water?”  I did so, and confirmed that I could feel the water. He said “No, do you FEEL it? Let me show you. When you do it like this (he glided his hand gently) , it is smooth. But when you do it like this (he spread his palm and flapped it fast) it is … Continue reading The Genius of Water