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Caught Between Water and Sky


Yesterday, wave after wave of storms moved in . . . and moved through without depositing so much as a drop. Today has been more of the same, a monsoon season without the monsoon, a rainy season in which no rain falls.

All that is expected to change, and drastically, tomorrow.

At the moment, we are less between a rock and hard place than we are caught between water and sky: water that has already fallen, now pooled in the lakes and flowing down the rivers and sunken already into a thirsty earth; a sky that alternates between scorching bright sunlight and heavy damp clouds that hold out the promise of more but never deliver.

It is a difficult place . . . and still, it is sacred space. It puts me in mind of one of Wings’s more recent works, a pair of earrings aptly named for our current state of being. From their description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Between Water and Sky Earrings

Life is born in the rain, between water and sky. Wings and his people have always known that water is life, that the rain is a gift, that the lake is a sacred space, and he honors all three in the traditional design of these new earrings. They take the form of mirrored lodges, sacred spaces descending from the sky and reaching upward from the earth’s surface, each stamped with long cascading scores like the fall of the water and the poles of the lodge. They meet in the center at indigo squares seated in the embrace of the light: cobalt cabochons of lapis lazuli shot through with silvery matrix, each its own simulacrum of the sacred lake touched on the surface with raindrops and shimmering sunlight. Each earring hangs 2″ in overall length (excluding wires) and is one inch across at the widest point; each cabochon is 3/8″ square (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; lapis lazuli
$575 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Perhaps it’s a reminder, a lesson we too easily forget: The navigation of sacred space is never easy. Indeed, by it’s very nature, it should make us uneasy — concerns about honor and privilege, about respect and rights. In an outside world filled with expectancy and entitlement, Nature and the spirits still have much to teach us about ego, about vanity. We have become accustomed to demanding, and to expect that those demands will be met; we forget that the elemental powers need neither cede nor accede to our whims.

Climate change is proof of that.

And perhaps that is the deeper lesson of these days: that we have become, as beings, so utterly self-absorbed, so thoroughly in pursuit of immediate pleasures and wants, that we have willingly inflicted harm upon the one thing that sustains us at the most fundamental level. We have injured our world, and badly so, and now she cannot provide as she once did, her own will notwithstanding.

And so, on this unbearably hot and humid day, when the clouds amass and pass overhead, leaving only muggy damp air in their wake, their message is perhaps less a warning than a call: to remember what it is that truly sustains us, to appreciate what we have even in the face of what we don’t.

Tomorrow will be soon enough for the rains. It will have to be; we have no choice in the matter, no ability to influence their timetable. For now, it is our task to adapt, and to appreciate — to appreciate the sacredness of the space we occupy, even caught between water and sky.

~ Aji






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