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The Storm Flying In With a Raining Sun

I’m old enough to remember the Florid tourism industry’s marketing campaign touting it as the land of liquid sunshine (and, yes, I know there are other places around the world that lay claim to the same title).  Here, though, on nearly the other end of the country?

In summer, this is, truly, the land of raining sun.

To my mind, it’s a more powerful metaphor anyway: No image of dilute rays here; in this place, no less than Father Sun himself actively descends to earth in all the force and fury of the storm — and, in point of fact, it’s a near-daily phenomenon here at this season.

And in a land of harsh extremes, it’s also less . . . remarkable, certainly, but less forceful, too. Yes, the storms of this season can be violent by any measure, but they can be gentle, too, both rain and light falling in tandem as softly and gently as the touch of a butterfly’s wings.

Today’s featured work embodies the raining sun in all its forms, riding the soft flow of the gentlest of rains, driven before the wrath of the most dangerous storm — even in its very name. From its description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Raining Sun Earrings

We live in the land of raining sun, where the thunderheads of monsoonal storms play hide-and-seek with the brightest orb in the sky. Wings gives form and flow to rays and drops alike with these earrings, hand-wrought of sterling silver and fiery banded simbircite in the brightest shades of the dawn. Each dangling, dancing drop is formed of a large hand-cut triangle like a silver-edged butterfly’s wing, interior excised to create a space for the falling drops of a radiant sun robed in a monarch’s royal hues. Each teardrop-shaped cabochon of simbircite is set into a scalloped bezel soldered securely to the angled sides. The stones are whorled in shades of flame orange, banded near the bottom by a gracefully scalloped line of ivory-colored matrix. At the apex of each triangle, beneath sterling silver wires, sits a hand-made ingot sunburst, the central orb from which all light flows, while the sides of the triangle are hand-stamped in an alternating flowing-water pattern on the front and repeating directional arrows on the reverse. Earrings hang 3″ long (excluding findings) by 1.75″ across at the base; visible area of cabochons is 1-1/8″ long by 3/4″ across at the widest point; ingot conchas are 1/4″ across (dimensions approximate). Designed jointly by Wings and Aji.

Sterling silver; simbircite
$825 + shipping, handling, and insurance

These earrings are a phenomenon in themselves, the sort that meld the shapes and structural outlines of tradition with a contemporary spirit. They are not so long as to touch the collar, but long enough to dance like the most graceful of rains; solid enough to sing of substance, not so heavy as to weigh upon the ear.

And the cabochons in the center are the very sun itself, given new form and shape as a marbled, banded drop of glowing rain, falling from the tiny distant orbs overlaid as anchors at the top.

Yesterday’s forecast seemed nullified by evening, all the rains passing us by to the south, drawing long lines of amber sunlight from the west like a magnet. And then, a couple of hours before midnight, the winds shifted, bringing us nearly a full night of hard, steady rain.

Today clouds and sun play with each other across the sky: one moment hide-and-seek; another, stickball. We are likely to get more weather before day and night are done. And somewhere on this day, if not overhead then around the edges but still well within our line of sight, we will see it again: the storm flying in with a raining sun.

~ Aji








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