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In a Darkening World, the Gift of the Light

At last, most of the smoke haze has been driven out beyond the peaks, a gift of last night’s trickster winds. The air is not perfectly clear, particularly to the south, but that’s not new. Up here, at least, we can finally see the mountains’ faces once more.

It’s a bit cooler today, too, that sharp autumnal edge always just below the surface of the heat of the sun. With the leaves faded and thinning their ranks, the fields browned and the daylight hours grown short, it feels as though fall has fully settled in at last.

It’s early, of course; normally, these days would look and feel like summer still. But those patterns are gone, and at the rate the colonial world is responding, we will not see their return, at least not in our lifetimes. that could change, but it would require a commitment from the very populations that have caused our world to come to this pass, and who continue in the short term to benefit.

I find that possibility vanishingly unlikely.

Which reduces the work we do to mitigation — harm reduction when it should be reclamation. But there are only so many resources accessible to us, and only so many hours in the day  . . . and now, the daylight hours are rapidly growing shorter still. In the weeks and months to come, we shall have to be more focused than ever, more efficient, more disciplined about where our effort goes. For those brief hours from the rising to the setting of the sun, we are granted, in a darkening world, the gift of the light. We have an obligation to use those hours wisely.

Today’s featured work distills those hours to the beauty and power of silver and stone — solid, strong, substantial, animated by the work of the spirits. From its description in the relevant section of the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

From the Rising to the Setting of the Sun Cuff Bracelet

Each day brings us a new world beneath skies of infinite possibility, from the rising to the setting of the sun. With this cuff, wrought in traditional style, Wings summons the spirits of dawn and dusk, blue skies webbed with clouds, and boldly delineated arrows to guide the way. This work begins with the silver, an arc of shimmering light in heavy nine-gauge sterling, full of substance and spirit and symbols of celestial guidance. At the center sit a pair of square cabochons of spectacularly-webbed teal blue turquoise, like stormy skies and reflective seas. At either end of the squares of blue sits a single round sun made of chatoyant tiger’s eye, one for the dawn and one for the dusk. Each tiger’s eye cabochon is flanked, in order of appearance, by a classic five-pointed star, four lines scored freehand and deeply, and a downward-facing arrow. Layers of clouds accent either end of the band, while both edges are scored freehand in a radiant motif. The inner band is traced in a repeating triangular pattern of rising and setting suns emergent from the clouds, conjoined at their open bases to form diamond-shaped Eyes of Spirit, followed at either end by four curving scored lines and another downward-facing arrow to echo those on the outer surface, each its own small assurance that from the darkness will come the light, and with it, all the promise of a new day. The 9-gauge band is 6″ long by 3/” wide; square turquoise cabochons are 7/16″ across; round tiger’s eye cabochons are 3/8″ across (dimensions approximate). Other views shown below.

Sterling silver; spiderweb turquoise; tiger’s eye
$1,400 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Today the air holds a bit of summer still: puffy white clouds webbing the turquoise sky, just enough humidity to counteract the ashen feel of the air. If today’s patterns follow yesterday’s trickster weather, we shall again have no rain, but by day’s end a wild and mischievous dance between wind and shadow and light.

It reminds us just how vulnerable our earth is now — how short time grows and how great the pressures that attend winter’s arrival.

It reminds us, too, how much we have been granted, and our obligation to use this time for the work: in a darkening world, the gift of the light grants us another chance each day.

~ Aji








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