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Golden Days

The Storm Light Anticlastic Cuff Front

Today was golden.

Not in the metaphorical sense of everything going right, although there was a little of that, too, interspersed with a great deal of difficulty. I mean it in the near-literal sense, when earth and sky alike are lit with golden light.

The air here is ethereal this time of year, always; I have yet to live through an October in this place that did not turn our world into a place of mystery and magic. It’s the clarity that does it: When virtually the only haze in sight is the small inversion layer over the valley just after dawn, the air in the upper atmosphere assumes a crystalline quality, one that glimmers and shimmers in the light of the sun. All the edges are sharper, along with the winds; every color more intense; the whole world lit seemingly from within, much like the Pueblo’s traditional pottery, gold-red clay ashimmer with mica.

And in a week in which the golden color dominates all else, it put me in mind of one obvious work. It’s the remaining piece from one of Wings’s small signature series, The Light Collection — a fitting name, yes, for such a feature as today’s. It’s fitting, too, in terms of the work’s focal stone, a gigantic labradorite oval that, far from the usual subtle gradations of gray, seems to shine from within with a pale but glorious golden underlight. From its description in the relevant section of the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

Light In the Storm Cuff Bracelet

It is in the eye of the storm that we are afforded a glimpse of its passing, when the clouds part momentarily to let the light descend. Wings has captured the glow of those rays in this anticlastic cuff, as big and bold as the storm itself, as bright as the light that transcends it. The band is wrought of sixteen-gauge sterling silver, heavier than usual for the shaping required of an anticlastic band, and sloped gently upward on either side. Its surface is free of adornment save a row of chased traditional symbols that run its entire length: stylized thunderheads paired together at their bases to form a sig of the  Four Sacred Directions, each mated pair embracing an Eye of Spirit, that which watches over us even in the fiercest storm. At its center, elevated upon a small sterling silver cylinder, rests another representation of Spirit’s Eye: the light itself, caught and held fast in a massive cabochon of dove-gray labradorite. The stone possesses breathtaking depth and clarity, shot through with angled inclusions like sheets of rain and refracting the light into a gold-tinged rainbow of color. Hand-stamped stars of various shapes and sizes spread stardust along the cuff’s inner band. Band is 1-11/16″ across; cabochon is 1-3/4″ long by 11/16″ high (dimensions approximate). Other views shown at the link. First in Wings’s new series, The Light Collection.

Sterling silver; labradorite
$1,800 + shipping, handling, and insurance

The weather will change soon — very soon, in fact. By tomorrow evening, a cold front is due to sweep through, bringing with it high winds and a hard freeze, and early snow with it. Snow in October is not at all unusual here, but after an unseasonably cold wet start to the month, it has settled comfortably into seventy-degree days.

Until now.

By this time tomorrow, the skies will be gray, the colors newly muted. And yet, there will still be light in the storm, a silvery shimmer to illuminate our path beneath the snowclouds hanging pale and heavy overhead.

But for now, and for the morning, we will enjoy these final golden days of the year, these last glorious hours before winter comes calling.

~ Aji







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