Thursday, May 28, 2009


(I'm off to an early PT....will talk with y'all when I get back)
Quite a while back I shot this photo of a bowl of freshwater pearls I have in the studio. Afterwards, I debated posting it because it is not a high contrast, grab-you-quickly photo. Yet I have kept it in my blog file, waiting for the time when I chose to write about the meaning of pearls in my work.
A natural pearl or cultured pearl is, of course, a foreign object implanted either intentionally or by accident into an oyster. The oyster then produces layer after layer of nacre, more commonly known as Mother of Pearl, and very slowly takes an irritant, a bit of something with no value and turns it into a smooth, beautiful, lustrous precious item.
So what does this have to do with art, or the work I do, or even my blog?
A lot.
I see great symbolism in pearls. We all have the potential to become more than we are--- slowly, carefully, with patience. My friends are the pearls in my life; they have given me layer after layer of friendship and love and kind words and confidence. They know me and accept me for what I am, yet we all strive to help each other and make our talent better. That is a layer of nacre if ever I have seen one!
In liturgical work, I use pearls to represent the soul. What starts as a bit of dust and imperfection is gently handled and patiently molded into something of great refinement. Each little lump of life, covered over with something healing, smoothing the road. It may not be the perfect *round* pearl, but it is a beautiful and unique item, as are every one of us. That is one reason I use so many freshwater pearls in church banners, alter cloths, etc. The tiny bit of nothing transformed to a higher state. A representation of all of us, brought humbly into the sanctuary but bringing it to life.
I keep the bowl on my worktable as a focal point for not-so-good days; I will run my fingers through them, lift them and feel the heft of a handful of the tiny objects. They are all sizes, all colors, all shapes, and all have the same value to me. Each is unique. Each delights me. The imperfections, the knots and bumps, the little occasional sharp edges........each has it's own beauty.
Every time we create art, we have the potential to create a pearl. Not the perfect, highly priced, string of pearls, but the real, rough edged, brought up from the ashes pearl. We take a thought and make something real. We take cast offs and make something of value. We share our process to give others that little extra layer of nacre. We comment, we reply, we discuss and laugh. We make life a bit better. We makes friends across the country and world.
We give one more layer of luster, one more bit of depth.
You, my readers, are indeed my pearls.
I hope I have returned to you enough in content to say you have received at least one shiny coat of nacre.
You have given me many.
Thank you!


Leslie said...

Well, I think it's a wonderful photo. Pearls are a favorite of mine as well. Such a mystery of an irritant that turns into beauty.

Good luck with PT.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Yes, that has always fascinated they happen.
We found one in a raw oyster in New Orleans one year; still have that tucked away!

bernadette ostrozovich said...

hi sweetheart! what a wonderful post! you are wise AND cute!

Jan said...

Lovely post as usual. Always such a pleasure to read your blog.

Linda Moran said...

This is a beautiful post! I think we all forget how much nature gives us, and the beauty that is out there in the smallest things. I buy stones at the gem shows for what they say to me and how they feel when I hold them. The first time I went to the Gen Show I was amazed at the colors - the earth is not all brown! You've given me an idea for my Thursday Thoughts posting later on amethyst.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

terrific post - and gorgeous pearls ... and listening to Miles' Summertime ain't half bad either!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey all, thanks for the nice comments. It is surprising how nature does the amazing things we sort of waltz by.
I'm always blown away by the backstories on things; how they're made, etc. I think that's why, given the choice, I would take pearls over diamonds any day. Pearls are just so, hmmmmmmm, warm.
I like that!
Glad you had a tidbit of food for thought!

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