The three ~ the story of change.

The first thing

A bit about the story

This is the last piece I wrote as part of the creative writing group I was part of last year.  An exercise thinking about change and what it means.  What, you might think, does this have to do with jewellery?  The first is the aspect of the story which is always what I am trying convey in the pieces I make.  I guess I see any creative activity as a tributary linking each (creative) thing up into the whole.  It all flows the same way for me, informs all.  *And then whispers so only you can hear* Anyway sometimes I like to break the rules too. This also comes across maybe as slightly melancholy, as a person who is fairly (reasonably) upbeat, I don’t have an answer apart from to say I think my soul likes a sad song sometimes.

The three

Change is a breath, each and every one.  It is also the moon stretching away from the Earth. Big or small, it comes inevitably.  I wonder, is it a welcome guest in your house?

It brings you to recall that time: you walked away in tears. That one you shan’t forget, though not the others that you did.  When you came out of the wreckage seemingly unharmed (although everyone said you were different).  Watching the tide flood the cave as you put your head on my shoulder.  When you threw your hands up in despair and shouted out loud, “This can’t go on, something has to…”

Change and chance walk hand in hand in holy matrimony. To force change does not mean that chance will let go.  Lovingly they stare into eyes of the other and tumble over a precipice together.  Both are rolling so fast they become a blur, become one.  The cliff descends into a gentle incline and each, still gripping the other, regains some kind of balance.Palmistry cards

Balance is a tightrope, a tension between two points. Change is a shape shifter, it can be a gust of wind or a breeze.  Both shake the rope regardless, you can move with it, accustom yourself to the high wire or gingerly lower your body down and wrap yourself around the rope.  

There is a third choice.  Jump or be pushed.  

When you made the choice to change you held a soft smooth slate grey pebble in your hand. You turned to face the incoming tide, it soaked your blackest shiniest shoes. Launching the missile with a flick of the wrist perfectly parallel to the water you hoped it would bounce on the surface to the horizon and somehow keep on going.  The water leaves a salty residue on your shoes. Later you will say with a sigh that they were never the same. The flow of the tide turns every eight hours washing back in your pebble to the shore.   The sea

A flux is also a flow. Over the years imperceptible until one day you look at each other with surprise and say “where did the time go?”      

It brings you to recall: when he gave you that tentative first kiss, the promises made.  That same old recipe. Again. Dog eared, spattered with sauce and oil crumpled in a cupboard because it is committed to memory. The day you spent staring out at the light glinting like stars on the sea, picking up handfuls of sand and letting the grains heated by the sun run through your fingers onto your thighs. Change counted down in an hourglass. The lessons that you learned mid life. The storm that sunk the boat.  

The choices we made, the chances we had, the changes that happened regardless.

And when we are gone, along with our choices and our chances, change is the only thing that remains.

Change is a breath, each and every one.  It is also the moon stretching away from the Earth.  


The End (thing)

I am interested in how you view change…. Do you believe in luck and circumstance?  Is all somehow fated? I’d be interested to know x

Main image taken by me in 2012 clocks arranged by the magical Rogue theatre in Tehidy woods for the Wild Summer Ball

4 Responses

  1. Tony

    Change as rhythm, change as new

    How many moons will we see in a lifetime? However many times we look up, the sight of the moon is never boring.
    Even now, half a century later, I can vividly recall taking a flight with a stopover in Mecca; arriving at 2am for refuelling, before heading onwards to the Yemen. We landed and the cabin doors were quickly opened. The heat roared inwards furnace-like, 40*C in the early morning dark.
    In those casual days we were allowed to wander round the plane on the tarmac while it was refuelled. A fleet of stretched Rolls Royce and Bentley limousines with small flags fluttering from their bonnets sped towards us from the low buildings a couple of miles away, stopping briefly to collect the rich and famous who stood waiting to be met by their chauffeurs.
    The most striking and memorable sight was the moon, hanging in the sky at an unfamiliar angle; lying on its back as if to say,
    “You thought you knew me didn’t you? Now look again, but remember this: however often you look at me, you’ll never really know me at all!”
    I enjoyed that thought. Just one shift across the globe to a different latitude brought me an unexpected, surprising viewpoint. I felt excited by change.
    While I was in the Middle East it was natural to eat late at night in the open air: a brief respite from the intense heat of the day. I always looked for a glimpse of the moon. A simple pleasure of being challenged over and over by that strange orientation. Each sighting was a reminder that what I had once thought typical, could now be seen afresh, as one way of looking, one single way of seeing the moon: and by extension, each way of seeing the world is only one of many.
    What is commonplace is only one way of seeing and being. When we change perspective the old becomes refreshingly, enjoyably new.
    We can be caught by the seemingly unchanging that is in constant flux. The moon is continuously bombarded by meteors that change its surface. The unchanging sea captured in poetry is now full of plastic.
    A visiting lecturer from a university in Kenya told me he enjoyed living beside lake Victoria and missed the vastness of the huge lake. I took him to Looe and we walked on the beach at low tide. The sea view was the first expanse of water he’d experienced since leaving home. He loved the openness and the sight of distant boats. Then the tide came in. He stared in amazement, then giggled uncontrollably, running back and forth along the beach, laughing in pleasure at the experience of the tidal rhythm and the sea reaching towards the shore and washing over his shoes. He understood perfectly the physics of tidal motion but was transfixed by the reality of his new experience of tidal flow.
    I enjoyed my Buddhist meetings at the Virginia House settlement in Plymouth. Norden the young nun arriving each week from Bath taught us that everything is in flux. Nothing is unchanging; least of all ourselves, what we think and what we experience in the world. The Buddha’s wisdom lies in realizing that the effort we make in creating our happiness is worthwhile only if the change we search for can be skilfully managed. We need to find happiness that is resistant to change. This is our most difficult task. Otherwise, we are constantly chasing pleasurable experiences because we desire them, but constantly disappointed when we find them empty of any lasting quality.
    Do I believe in luck and circumstance?  I’d rather use the phrase ‘good fortune’.
    It’s clear to me that some people have a much harder and more challenging life than others; struggling with poverty, ill-health, and challenging circumstances. But we can all recall meeting happy people living a hard life, as well as miserable people unable to enjoy their fortunate circumstances.
    Are we all somehow fated? No. We make our own misery and pleasure, even if we don’t always grasp how our decisions and desires set us up for our future experiences.
    Right thinking, right actions, and right livelihoods (like creating beautiful jewellery through hard work and skilful struggle), bring us to places and people that we would otherwise not meet. Stepping back from unhelpful experiences can keep us safe from unnecessary difficulty. Choice is always ours to make. But life is a real puzzle most of the time!
    As gardeners, we know that the richer the shit the more beautiful is the flower that grows, and the more nourishing are the vegetables it produces. Managing the shit is a lifelong gardening job but it leads to the most beautiful experiences.

    • elbyjewellery

      I love your reply so much. So nuanced and so beautiful to read – Thank you – real and honest. Poetic but not to sentimental, it made me laugh too. I think you have learnt so well not the sweat the small stuff and to keep the flow of humour and ease regardless Mr B. Not always easy. I so enjoyed that description of the ‘new’ moon. That’s how we are as humans too not many will get to see us in all contexts hey. I could smell that tarmac and feel that heat and humidity only available in far flung places (that feel ever more unreachable now). I like that we have a ‘man in the moon’ but in far East mythology there is a rabbit in the moon pounding the elixir of life! That last paragraph right on the money – reminded of that every time I use the compost loo. HA. Thank you for such a thoughtful evocative reply my friend – a real gift. x

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