Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bead Show, Metalsmithing, & the Wisdom of Turtles

Last week brought some unexpected changes for me and seriously challenged my 'plan'- at least, the one I'd had in place for the summer. Almost immediately, I could sense myself beginning to despair, and feel that things would never come together, I'd always feel 'stuck,' hopeless, and like my life was going nowhere. This has happened before: something occurs and changes my daily routine or puts a monkey wrench in my plans, and I can't deal with it, I can't handle the disruption.

This time, though, I was struck by my response- I felt like I was observing my own reaction, like I might another person's. I thought, Hmm, that's interesting. I wonder why she's freaking out? This is no big deal at all, it'll pass, things will get better. So that's what I started to tell myself when I seemed to be tending toward those anxious, negative thoughts. Skeptic that I am, I must confess I'm surprised to find this working for me. I'm one of those people that's great at helping others overcome difficulties, but somehow can't apply the same principles to my own life. Sigh.

In other news, I went to my first bead show (Rings 'N Things) this week, where I saw some amazing beads and held a $289 strand of solar quartz in my hands. Those were some lovely stones! I wanted one of everything, of course, but I settled on a strand of deep blue sodalite teardrops, some teeny tiny tourmaline rondelles, and a strand of pale pink chalcedony teardrops. I'll be creating with these soon!

Last night, I had my second metalsmithing class (!) I am SO excited about it. I learned how to use a jeweler's saw to cut a sheet of sterling silver. Clearly, working with metal will take a lot of practice, but I love how it feels like I'm truly creating something- here is this design I drew, now I'm transferring it to the metal, now I'm cutting it out by hand, then I'm going to solder the pieces together and stamp it and drill it and polish it... etc. It's exciting.

On the way to my class, I saw an enormous snapping turtle crossing the road- a very busy road. He looked almost prehistoric, with a sharp, spiky shell and long, triangular tail. The turtle was just crossing over the white line as I drove by- and he was most certainly not moving at typical turtle pace. He had his head held up high and was boldly stepping out into oncoming traffic. I said a little prayer for his safety and flashed my headlights at other drivers to warn them.

Usually, I try not to get too metaphorical, but I couldn't help feeling that there was something about this turtle's approach to life that maybe I could benefit from. You could say it was foolish to head straight for what was an almost certain death- but the turtle couldn't know this, and neither can we always know what the future has in store for us. At some point- after careful consideration and analysis, the only choice is to take a leap, or make a decision, stick with it, and trust that everything will fall into place eventually. If you spend all your energy worrying things won't come together, well then, maybe they won't- because that was wasted energy that could have been applied to something more positive and productive.

The turtle must have made it safely across the road, or maybe some kind soul stopped to usher him along- because there was no sign of him on my way home.


  1. What a great post! I would love to learn metalsmithing, you will have to post some of your pieces! What a wise turtle! My best friend just moved half way across the country without her family for a job. She was scared to death and immediately wanted to come home. Now after getting her feet wet, she is really enjoying her new life and her family will soon follow. Sometimes it is the big leap that is necessary and things do fall into place. Good luck with everything and I beleive that things happen for a reason!

  2. Thanks for reading, Michelle! That was a huge risk your friend took- good for her! Sounds like it was worth it and that it will all work out for the best. I also believe things happen for a reason! We just have to be open to whatever comes our way...
    Thanks again :)

  3. This is a wonderful post graycat - words to live by. Thank you for sharing.