What we cherish

No bigger than a jelly bean and shot through with a web of delicate imperfections, it wasn’t something most women would write home about. Still, I found its warm, pink glow irresistible.”

– Christian L Wright, in an article for Conde’ Nast titled, “How to Hunt for Gems”

Christian L Wright wrote the above lines to describe a captivating topaz cabochon gemstone discovered in Ouro Prêto, Brazil, but I found the lines themselves just as precious as gemstones, when I first happened upon them back in 2011.

I was sitting in a lawyer’s waiting room, somewhat disconnected from my body, hoping to be given a five point plan and to receive assurance, even if untrue, that everything would eventually be okay. My mind was aswirl with questions and regrets, yet somehow amidst all that, I felt reading this, seen and known.

Imperfections, yes. Contradictions, yes. A life and meaning others may not understand, yes! Which might be more beautiful for that misunderstanding! More captivating, yes!

Sherry Topaz Cabochon Natural Untreated Gemstone Volodarsk ...
topaz cabochon, untreated

But why am I thinking about this tonight?

I’m thinking about specifically, the feeling of being known and seen… of someone unexpectedly having just the right words or reaction. I’m thinking of life taking one utterly by surprise as though reaching in from another time and place to intervene right into where and who you are.

I used to feel that as a child more often. I would pray to the moon outside of a high slivered window as if needing to connect with that tangible illuminated body, to feel my prayers were landing somewhere. When the prayers seemed answered I wouldn’t necessarily think the answer had come from the moon, just that she had been there to hear me.

I knew that out my line of vision she was also shining down on the gardenia bush below, bathing everything in love.

There’s so much I miss about my childlike faith, and yet I have so much anger toward what has come of the temples and churches that were meant to impart and nurture that kind of openhearted intuition and trust. I was taught such loving stories (often on felt boards), as a child. They were stories of kindness and the *hidden heart*, and I believed them, really wanted to let my “little light” shine. What happened to the protectors of faith, hope, and (“the greatest of these”) love? What is this cruel revelry that has replaced it?

On my better days, I consider that structures oftentimes have to crumble and corrupt leaders be exposed, before the treasures they’re hoarding can be released into the wider world to be discovered by travelers-by who may have opportunity to set them in new contexts. I consider the Dalai Lama especially, and the way Buddhism returned the core of loving faith to me.

There is still a process going on, an integration between the emptiness of that open heart with courageous knife wielding wisdom… my love for science and philosophy, and my rage at injustice clashing at times, with an innocent pursuit of direct play and wonder that I do think holds some cure. But always preserving my autonomy to morph and change, to be full of contradictions and imperfections as I find my ever-more authentic way.

I’m not sure what sinister force first came up with such cruel means of control as to monitor others’ moment by moment beliefs. I’m even more perplexed by how, with so much knowledge abounding and so many avenues uncovered, so many seem to be turning back toward giving away their most intimate power… okay with having less control over their own imaginative faculties and minds.

I understand struggle. I mean, I want someone to fix it all for me too, but not not at the price of the very context in which ‘it all’ lives and breathes.

Something else I remembered tonight, was the beautiful speech of Yeonmi Park, a young girl from North Korea, who described the way she thought the “great leader” could read her mind.

We need to cherish and share the beautiful jewels of our essential freedoms.

Well that was unexpected. I signed on to write about channeling, which I guess will wait for another day. 😉

*Featured image is from Shellyeah on Instagram 🙂


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