The Secret Metamorphosis has been featured in this garden-themed treasury on Etsy. For the first time in over ten years I actually have a garden of my own. It’s a little brick corner, but it’s mine. Of course, I missed planting season and it is a bit bare. There are no butterflies flitting about the clothesline, but maybe next year. I have read that they are disappearing, which, like the sad news about the bees, makes me despair. I will be researching and planning a garden with butterfly-friendly plants.
I do have a wormery, which is a weird mediation on death and the cycle of life every couple of weeks when I go to tend to it! Right now I keep it in the old outhouse which will act as a shed.
Just think, I have all late summer and winter to dream about the perfect potted garden.
One of my best sellers is the Octopus Netsuke necklace, and after reading this compelling blog post by the fantastic Mark Chabourn, entitled “Bow to Your Tentacled Overlords” about the ability of octopi to learn and use tools even, I began to realize why. Despite their incredibly alien strangeness, they are perhaps more like us than anyone first understood. Through the Eye of an Octopus is another brilliant discussion summary of cephalopod intelligence studies, puzzle solving and even potentially dreaming.
Many of my necklaces are maid with miniature pewter sculptures from Green Girl Studios– their life-like detail and expressive natures make them particularly suitable for talismanic adornments. The octopus is a prime example– its detail reminiscent of Japanese netsuke. Combined with Swarovski pearls and crystals, I’ve wanted to make this one a worthy tribute to the tentacled overlords! (And I bow to the customer who just got married in hers!)
I made this necklace in honor of the decadent beverage, and the whole thing started with finding the raw, druzy quartz stone bead that reminded me of a sugar cube. Then, I found the little spoon and not much later the green heart, which just happens to be the same colour of just-stirred absinthe.
I love absinthe. Beyond the beauty of the liquid– a livid green which turns milky and subtle when water is added– there is the smell, part medicinal, part grown-up candy that I find most seductive. And the ritual, doing it right.
I confess I am no connoisseur, having only imbibed what friends could smuggle to me while I lived in the U.S. And, once in the UK, one bottle of La Fee (chosen for the label) has lasted me years.
You see I drink alone, (or as Homer Simpson would ask, “Does God count as a person?”) and relish the whole ritual. I don’t set the sugar cube on fire, instead preferring to watch it disintegrate slowly. My delicate hand blown absinthe glasses were given to me by a dear friend and I think of her whenever I drink from them. It was as if she knew exactly what was missing from my life!
Next week I am off to Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, where I hear there is an absinthe bar that serves breakfast. While making this absinthe-heart necklace, I was musing on the promise of such a place, and looking forward to the end of my solitary absinthe indulgence– very soon I will be in a city full of such decadents.
Lately I’ve been thinking about Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire, that mediation on angelic compassion. It has Rilke at its heart, insisting on sensual witness, on human delights that one imagines angels can only envy. Rilke wrote “Every angels is terrifying”.
This conviction is missing from the fluffy New Age vision of guardian angels– something I reject. It’s not that I don’t believe, it’s that I’m convinced seeing one would destroy you. With that said, what about hearing angels? What about that little voice that seems to come from within and without? That is real– it has a name in Hebrew: Bat Kol, or small voice– the voice of the divine.
This is my concession to the sentimentalized angel– a little Victorian wing suspended from a vintage rosary fragment– Mary’s profile worn to a glossy ghost by years of prayer, combined with the carnival glitter of Swarovski crystals and vintage mardi gras beads. I would hope Wim Wenders’ angel Damiel would approve.