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Love Is All We Have

The Courting Flute Coil Bracelet

There are days when love is all we have.

Today feels like one such. The day itself is beautiful, our warmest yet: blue skies, green leaves, golden sun, white clouds — and yet, fate throws up obstacle after obstacle in our paths, not even enough time for necessary labor, none at all to enjoy the gifts of the earth. External stresses waylay us, force us to detour onto roads that are long, hard, and seemingly without end.

And then love reminds us why we walk this road in the first place, even when it descends into a tortuous spiral.

Love itself is a vortex, one at once captivating and intensely liberating. It holds our feet firmly on the ground even as it lets us walk in the clouds; it binds us into the braid of partnership and family, clan and community, even as it sets us free to dance upon the storm.

Today’s featured works are perfect examples of this seeming contradiction, an attraction of opposites that come together with, and as, elemental force. These two are part of one of The Love Collection, a part of The Seventh Fire Series, Wings’s ongoing tribute to the gifts of the grandfathers, otherwise known as the virtues of the spirit. And while love of any sort is emancipating, today’s works are summoned from the spirit of romantic love, two that speak to the intensity of feeling when two people first begin to fall in love with each other.

The first of today’s featured works embodies the spirit of an ancient and beautiful indigenous courtship practice. From its description in the relevant section of the Bracelets Gallery here on the site:

The Courting Flute Coil Bracelet

The courting flute is a traditional Native red cedar flute, carved and painted at the end in the form and shape of a bird’s head. A young man who wishes to court a young woman will announce his attentions publicly by serenading her from outside her lodge, giving her an opportunity to respond, but from a respectful distance. Here, Wings pays homage to the cranes and woodpeckers and other birds whose song the courting flute borrows with a spiraling melody of coppery reds. At the center are faceted round orbs of smoky quartz flanked by fiery amber that flows, lava-like, into segments of round blood-red jasper beads. Each length of jasper ends in more smoky quartz, flanked at either end by amber. Toward either end, tiny nuggets of soft red branch coral terminate in old-style faceted copper barrel beads. Beads are strung on memory wire, which expands and contracts to fit virtually any wrist. Jointly designed by Wings and Aji.

Memory wire; red jasper; smoky quartz; amber; branch coral; copper
$325 + shipping, handling, and insurance

In the usual order of things, courtship (at least when it is successful) leads to deeper feeling, both of body and of soul. Today’s second work is symbolic of this deeper, more intense stage of the process we call falling in love — and perhaps “falling” is exactly the right term, this seemingly involuntary drop, a descent into a vortex of emotion that spirals back upward into what seems a higher state of being. From its description in the same section of the same gallery:

Fire In the Blood Coil Bracelet

Fire In the Blood Coil Bracelet

Love stirs a fire in the blood, a vortex of longing and desire. Wings pays tribute to its power with the fourth coil in The Love Collection, a spiral of doughnut rondel beads in earthy, elemental colors. Each end begins with a length of small hematite beads, earth tempered by fire, flowing thence into slightly larger segments of brightly polished copper. All of the gemstone beads are separated by lengths of copper. The gemstones begin with light red carnelian, flow into dark red carnelian the color of blood, then move into the ethereal rose of strawberry quartz. At the center, fourteen large scarlet rondels of dyed bamboo coral glow brighter than flame. Beads are strung on memory wire, which expands and contracts to fit virtually any wrist. Jointly designed by Wings and Aji.

Memory wire; dyed bamboo coral; strawberry quartz; dark and light carnelian; copper; hematite
$325 + shipping, handling, and insurance


Of all the works Wings has created in this ongoing series, these are perhaps the two best suited to their essential form and shape: small spirals of intensely bright color and texture and sensation, emblematic of the sudden brilliance of the whole world to one newly in love. But they are also a reminder that love extends beyond romance, beyond partnership: It places within clan and community; it helps us to find our place in the world. It gives us a reason to go on when the road is long and dark, a reasons to give even when our own stores are empty, a reason to dance in the light even when the weight of the world rests upon our shoulders.

Because sometimes, love is all we have . . . and love is enough.

~ Aji






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