My grand-mother collected S&H Green Stamps and Meissen milkmaids. My mother collects waspsâ€™ nests. I have managed to acquire an unlikely group of spheres: an ornament embedded with mirrors from an import store, two quartz globes from a gem show, a huge lead crystal orb large enough to support an embroidered fez. Smaller spheres surround these large ones: an alabaster sphere from a trip to Tuscany, a glass marble that belonged to my mother in her marble-shooting childhood, a lead fishing weight, a dried datura gourd, perfectly preserved, that came home with me from a trip to the Mojave. These rhyming shapes make a soothing meditation for the eyes and have staked out their territory in my dining room for over a decade.
Inside the Flame