In time of crisis, people think twice before spending their money. They worry about making ends meet. The refined pleasures of life are considered vanities at the bottom of the priority list, in other words, not at all a priority.
We should not let fear get the best. Right now, more than ever, people need art and to be near things that bring meaning into their lives. This is a time of struggle but also a time of change, reflection, and growth. Preparing for change is not a bad idea because it will come. Art and jewelry can be part of positive change. Change is good, but change is also challenging.
We are comfort creatures, and we don't unless forced to change. But, when the tough get going, and we see danger, we change because we need to adapt to survive. So, without getting into despair, we should welcome change and the struggles this pandemic brings to us all. We must engage in ways to transform hardship into an opportunity.
With the Covid age comes deep reflection, calm planning, and creativity because we have time alone, interrupted our lives.
We have no other place to go but to our innermost sites and within ourselves. It can be scary because we are not used to being in such deep isolation and being in touch with ourselves. Still, if we channel these energies correctly, we can transform this fearful time into a powerful experience. And how does jewelry-making fits into this?
This crisis is making me think about the meaning of what I do. Am I catering to commercial ideas, or am I going deeper into creating something of lasting value? I take the longer road, and I spend the extra time. I am more patient with my creations and give them ample time and care to grow into something beautiful. Without such a decisive and drastic change of pace this pandemic brings, I probably would never have such deep reflection. But the result of this is even more profound because it meets our humanity after all.
Jewelry may be considered a vain and unnecessary item, but that is a contradiction. If we reflect on this issue a little closer, we will find that jewelry is associated with our most precious gift in life: our humanity. Jewelry is not about the jewelry pieces but about us. We use it because of others. Jewelry is intricately linked to our social life and how we interact and present ourselves socially. This is so self-evident it's an indicator of how happy and socially connected we are. I notice that with myself.
When I'm socially disconnected and worried about "being serious about life," jewelry gets dust in some drawer or box. When I'm happy and socially connected, my jewelry is being used and is with me everywhere I go. During these times, I feel I'm more alive. So, the useless becomes the most useful, or rather, part of the most essential things in life.
Our life happens while we live it now, not in some distant future. So jewelry, in a way, can serve to, or at least be used as a reminder that life happens now, and we don't know for how long we will have the privilege of having it.
Photo credit: Rhandi Purnell
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