It was the tiniest shine that caught my eye. I had seen it plenty that afternoon in the woods looking for crystals. Sometimes it was a small sliver of crystal rock, that could have been mistaken for a piece of broken glass. Other times it was just moisture on a flat gray rock, reflecting the sunlight.
The ground was wet, the soil muddy but this shine didn’t go away when I wiped it. It just got shinier. A smooth flat surface about a half inch long by a sixteenth of an inch wide, and as I rubbed the mud away with my fingers I felt more hard flat and pointy pieces of rock. I kept digging, but the rock was bigger than I expected and it was buried in the hard packed earth. I used sticks and rocks to gently chip away at the earth, feeling like an archeologist, thinking of how crows like shiny objects and have been seen using tools to get at them.
When I finally pulled it out of the earth (the whole thing making about a three inch triangle) even though it was encrusted with dirt, I could see it was loaded with crystals.
At home I scrubbed it with a nylon brush, reaching into the crevices, like brushing teeth I thought. I held it up to the sun, even the slight movement of the breath in my hand made it twinkle and sparkle. Long rectangular, triangular and diamond shaped surfaces, catching the light and sending it back out into the world.
As I looked at it I was reminded of what Lisa Dingle asked me earlier in the day. It was after Jon’s Blogging class and Jon invited Lisa and Rachel to have lunch with us at the Round House Cafe. Lisa drives about 3 hours each way to come to Jon’s class and I’m glad she does, otherwise I might not have met her. She’s a terrific writer, but like lots of creative people is afraid to show her work. (her blog is called Just Ponderin if you want to see what I mean) That morning she asked me if I had ever been afraid to show my work and it surprised me to think someone might not know that it’s only in the past five years or so that I haven’t had this fear. I told her how now I couldn’t not show my work. How I crave the feedback and would find it useless to make work if it couldn’t go out into the world and hopefully make connections and bring joy and meaning to someone’s day.
And now I thought of the crystal rock buried in the earth, unseen and unknown. The sunlight unable to reach the crystals, not allowing them to do what they do so well. Not able to put their light back into the world. And I thought of Lisa’s words, unseen and unknown. What good do they do if no one gets to see them. Who does it serve if her thoughts, insights and ideas never get to live in the world, never get to touch another person, like the light from a crystal bouncing from one shiny surface to another refracting light and making rainbows.
It’s wrong I thought for a creative person not to share his or her work. Not when it could do good, bring joy and insight. Help us to understand each other, make connections, make rainbows.