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