Born and raised in New Orleans, I am shaped by an intensity of almost every kind. To name a few: texture, color, smell, sensuality, heat and nature. Envision moss draped cypress tress through misty streams of morning light along the bourbon ribbons of lazy bayous. Take in a slow breath of tantalizing aromas from the kitchens of homes and restaurants. Your mouth waters. See the woven mixtures of peoples on the street with their individual styles and accents. Listen to the complexity of their music float through the evening air. Join in and lose yourself to the revelry of parades, bands and caught trinkets. Stand on the levee of the Mississippi and feel the full curves of the forever flowing water against the river's bank. Think of the sharp contrast of white sugar sand beaches, emerald green and blue waters and sky. Then, there's the ever present allure of what lays beyond what I already know and into that which is new, unexplored and mysterious.