'The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe. The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightning and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not.' -The Upanishads.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


In quilting, there is an old pattern called "streak o' lightning". To me, it always referred to an event that changed everything in the blink of an eye. The events that happened across the Long Island Sound in Connecticut last week changed the lives of so many people in a matter of minutes. There's nothing new that I can add to all the things that have been said in the last few days about the need for gun control legislation, better mental health services, and a major change in our culture of violence. I think of my own grandchildren and I ache for those families who now have to cope with unthinkable loss and grief. My heart and my prayers go out to them.
 I had been working on a blog post before this tragedy. Since the subject was healing, I'm going to go ahead and post it now, even though it feels a little frivolous.

Can jewelry heal?

 Now, I don't mean can a necklace cure cancer or a bracelet stop the flu, but I'm thinking of the kind of healing that helps restore a person to a place of wholeness or balance.  Not like when we buy ourselves something to make us feel better temporarily, like some women engage in therapeutic shopping or need to buy one more pair of shoes when they're depressed (No sweetie, I'm not talking about you here; I fully understand that you need 80 pairs of shoes for work because you're on your feet all day, I really do. I'm more of a barefoot kind of person myself, so I never really got the shoe thing. I did buy a pair of shoes once just because they had these sexy little cut-outs that showed some toe-cleavage, but I couldn't wear them for more than 15 minutes without going into excruciating foot spasms - but I'm getting sidetracked. Sorry. Short attention span. ) I was talking about jewelry. Energy jewelry. ART jewelry.

 I've been an artist my entire life. Painting, fiber, pottery, assemblage. Jewelry is just so personal. You wear it next to your skin. It reveals something very personal about you to every person you meet. Status. Values. Beliefs. I've been noticing something very interesting about when people look at my pieces: if they are looking for a piece to transform them into someone they are not, they won't be able to make up their minds and they end up not buying anything. If they already understand who they are, they will connect with a piece that expresses and enhances that. I had wondered how that dynamic will work on Etsy, but it seems like people can be drawn to a photo as well as the actual object.

 I've had training in two different shamanic traditions: many years ago under a student of Michael Harner's "urban shamanism", a mix of Celtic and Native American, and more recently with a student of Alberto Villoldo and The Four Winds Society in the Peruvian Q'ero tradition. Some of the people I was initiated with are practicing healers. I'm not. I'm not going to make the necklace that saves the world. I just want to make jewelry that makes people feel good. Beautiful and strong. Protected and grounded. I want to help people TO REMEMBER WHO THEY ARE. I put that intention into every piece I make. I hope that's enough.

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