August 4, 2021

Jade East.

Twenty five years ago, when I was Program Director of a Top 40 radio station in Upstate New York, I had an office in the basement of the owner’s large home. This is where the “corporate headquarters”, such as it could be called, was located and I could easily hear the owner and his wife and their kids stomping around the kitchen above my office at any given time. They had a certain propensity for yelling at one another. There were rumors of knives being thrown but I never witnessed this sort of thing; instead I’d see them come down the back stairs and throw laundry into a big pile on the room across from my office.

It was cozy. Yeah, we’ll go with that.

In an effort to tune out the chaos and remained focused in choosing the perfect mix of music for the next 48 hours, I’d shut my door and burn incense as a distraction. I had visions of being mentally whisked away to a place where people floated on clouds and had amazing, almost indescribable moments of ecstatic creativity. My incense never brought me this experience, but it did help tune out the noise of the outside world and eventually I programmed the right music mix to take a last place station to a top five spot, which in turn brought us the, at the time, coveted distinction of being a “Reporting Station” for Radio and Records Magazine. This in turn brought in many promotional opportunities with record companies and the like and made the station successful enough that the yelling husband and wife without the knives were able to sell the radio station for much more than the bought it for.

Fast forward 25 years to my office in our glorious home in the Arizona desert and I’m still burning incense but have yet to experience these purported transcendental experiences.

I do enjoy the scent and am happy that I’m able to burn this incense because it was a gift from my husband and family.

Perhaps that’s transcendental enough.