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The Light Shines From All Directions

From All Directions Earrings

Last night’s moon was more October than February, a shade off full, rising misty and misshapen behind the gnarled arms of the bare aspens. Unlike the night before, it had no corona, but it seemed to float just above a cushion of small lenticular clouds, their bands tinted gray and silver and maroon beneath its cold light.

By morning, its outlines were clear, its face pale crimson in the reflected light of the rising sun.

We are only days away now from the new moon, when its face will be so black as to disappear entirely into the blanket of the night sky.

But it will still be there, high in the heavens, backlit with a glow too faint for our mortal eyes, but there to light our world nonetheless.

We take our cosmos too much for granted, and our place in it, too: We awaken in the morning in the sure and certain knowledge that the sun rises with us and will accompany us throughout the day; we retire at night confident that the moon keeps her own place in the sky, there to light our darkened path. The fact of the world’s orbit does not trouble us unduly, nor do we worry that the world will slip off its axis. This is the order of our world, and its recurrence is like our breath — it comes and goes on its own, on schedule, and it is only in the absence of it that we are roused to notice its centrality to our own existence.

But the new moon is a regular occurrence, too, part of the natural order of things. We know this, and so we remain untroubled even when we cannot see our Grandmother’s face.

This is the genius of how our world is constructed: Because we orbit the sun, and the moon orbits us, the light shines from all directions before each day is done.

It is the same, too, with wind and weather and motion. Creation is wise beyond our imaginings, and has evolved, revolved, into the perfect daily cycle to sustain our world, and us with it.

It’s a dynamic perfectly symbolized in today’s featured work, a pair of earrings whose stones are as glossy and opaque as the new moon, whose settings are those of orbit and wind and direction. From their description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

From All Directions Earrings

Sometimes we need protection from the winds that seem to buffet us from all directions. Sometimes, great gifts and blessings arrive on those same winds. Wings captures the dichotomous nature of our journey around the hoop with these earrings, jet-black onyx and silver polished so highly it’s nearly white, that embody the power of the winds and the sacred directions: gifts simultaneously of wild unharnessed power and of shelter from the storm. The settings are representations of the Sacred Directions, those reaches of our world guarded by the winds, that here encompass both cardinal and ordinal points. Each is cut freehand from sterling silver, with the spoke at each cardinal point gently curved on the end to imply the arcing shape of the hoop and impart a sense of motion around it. At the center of each, the vortex: a large round onyx cabochon, like a pool of liquid jet, resting gently in a scalloped bezel and trimmed with twisted silver. Settings are 1.75″ high by 1.75″ across; cabochons are .75″ across (dimensions approximate). Earrings are a companion work to Dance of the Whirlwind Spirits, in the Necklaces Gallery.

Sterling silver; onyx
$725 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Around the time of such vivid celestial displays as we have just witnessed, we tend to pay more attention to the skies and to our location in relation to their occupying spirits. We notice the colors of the sunrise, the distance and position of the moon, the movement of the stars across heaven’s darkened vault. If we are observant, it becomes clear that none of us is stationary, that stasis is not our natural element.

This should give us comfort. We wake and sleep within the cycles of sun and moon, confident in their continued appearance and in the rotation of the earth. But within those patterns, new ones form, coalesce, break apart, and reform, some for days on end, others for the briefest of seconds, and this, too, is the norm. Why should our own lives be different?

As the earth moves, so, too, do we, and still the light shines from all directions upon our path.

~ Aji








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