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Light In the Spaces Between

Dance of the Whirlwind Spirits Necklace

Last night, the moon rose late.

What we noticed first was its absence; moonrise has been much earlier in recent days, and the unrelieved dark outside the window was suddenly a perceptible thing.

What registered next was that the sky between the peaks had grown lighter, as though in anticipation of her near ascent. It was not obviously so, of course; at a glance, it still looked black as the night that hold it fast. But a moment’s wait, eyes newly adjusted to the dark, and it came clear: Above the near valley between the Spoonbowl and Pueblo Peak, the mountain slopes were suddenly darker than the sky between them, the blue of midnight and red of a dark, dark wine flowing together into a violet for which there is no name.

It’s what happens to the heavens when there is light in the spaces between: between earth and sky; between slope and peak; between whirlwind storm and sun’s shadow; between full dark and the rise of moon.

As with yesterday’s featured work, such spiraling changes in the light remind me of today’s featured work. From its description in the Necklaces Gallery here on the site:

Dance of the Whirlwind Spirits Necklace

When the winds come from the Four Directions to meet at the center of all that is, they summon the spirit of the whirlwind to dance in the vortex of the storm. Wings summons all of the spirits in this work, a large, heavy talismanic medallion of solid sterling silver, hammered by hand and lightly domed in repoussé fashion. A symbol of the Four Sacred Direction in a flaring stylized cross shape rests atop the medallion as an overlay. Each spoke is marked with a single cabochon of cobalt-blue lapis lazuli, the color of the rain; they spin inward toward the vortex at the center, embodied in a large round onyx cabochon of mysteriously glossy depths. The hand-made bail is accented with tiny hand-stamped hoops, the shape of the spiraling wind itself. The pendant hangs from an alternating strand of round sterling silver and lapis lazuli beads, with small square lapis and round onyx beads stretching toward either end of the strand, each end terminating in two tiny Florentine-finish silver beads. Pendant is 2-1/8 inches long (including bail) by 2-1/4 inches across; beads are 19 inches long (dimensions approximate). Close-up views of the pendant shown at the link.

Sterling silver; onyx; lapis lazuli
$1,500 + shipping, handling, and insurance

This was a work to hold the spirit of the storm, but it could just as easily embody the dance of the moon: a new moon, now not far off, orbited by a blue moon that stops, just for a moment, at each of the sacred directions, while through it all, silvery rays of light shimmer and move through the spaces between. It’s an old-style traditional design reconceived in a new way, even as it assumes the form and shape of spirits as old as time itself.

This has long been one of my favorite works among Wings’s current inventory. The colors are my own, jet black and cobalt blue and pure silvery light, but it’s in the way he has brought them together that the piece finds its sense of self. Perhaps it speaks to me at least as much because it does as we do: It walks in two worlds, that of the oldest of tradition that nonetheless must navigate its dance in a contemporary light.

But it’s also the dance itself that the piece embodies, that of the spirits of the storm and the light and the spaces they inhabit, vortex and spiral and space between worlds.

Early or late, moonrise is another time to witness the presence of such spirits: light in the spaces between, and in the spaces between the light.

~ Aji








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