The year of 2022 is wrapping up in a very untidy bow. I am not even sure I want a bow on the gift of 2022. I am sure it was a year of gifts, but some of those gifts were more like the threatened box of coal that my mom would say we would get for Christmas if we did not behave. But from coal comes diamonds, from coal is warmth, and from coal is how my life started. The diamonds are what you choose to see as you dig your nails into the fine dust and watch the lines on your hands become beautiful stories and intricate patterns like the finest chantilly lace.
I love diamonds. The capture of light. I love how everyday has a rainbow when you tilt the cut stone into the light. The capture of a moment of light. I recently sat with my grandson Samual at his first professional music show. He was enthralled. The overhead lights kept shining off the wonderful yellow diamond I cherish. He looked up at me with his chocolate eyes and said, “Grama, you have a rainbow in your ring and it is tickling my eyes.” Light does that I said to him. He proceeded to find the greens, magentas and all the colours. Then he said when the lights went down for the show to proceed, “where do the colours go in the dark?” Profound.
The unseen, whether light or colour, or people who drive passions that change lives. All are diamonds. The pressures that are sometimes debilitating to carry, and the fractures and flaws redirecting the prisms and directions. 2022 was that year. Being shown what I now know, I really did not want to see. But in the knowing of the many truths, making what has been a passion of mine for many years even more of an understanding, as I watch my grandchildren grow, and each take a path in their lives. All different paths, different education, different dreams and skills and in the watching do I understand more.
The diamond is the wayfinding creative compass to direct creative bridges for those that do not fit into the machine. The creators, inventors and visionaries. The children full of the future they can see, and the time to let their bodies catch up to their minds. The dancers who can walk across a stage in front of 300 people, but hide behind their mama because a kindergarten class and being made to sit is terrifying.
I am remembering having to walk into a girl guide club meeting. Having to take my dime fee to the leader. The hot feeling in my head, and the overwhelming need to run as fast as my coal stained knees would let me. I was a nail biter, and the worst thing happened. I dropped my dime. The leader was saying, get in line, get in line. Hurry up! I tried so hard to bend my red tender nails and pick up that dime. But the dime stayed glued to the floor. The girls laughed and the leader frowned. I never went back to Brownies. That day I learned shame. No one then knew nail baiting has many spectrum and anxiety prompts. The same superpowers that let you see, what is unseen, like where the colours go in the dark.
There are many divides in our world today and the last years have tested us all. The them and theirs, the me and you’s, the hers, they and his. The borders and the systems.
But what is broken is a system that is unseen. A system that feeds itself and not the people and the planet. The old and the young divided. So much so that accountability has vanished.
Today I love dimes. They are gifts from my dad from the other place. When the light of a dime catches my eye. I celebrate picking it up. I don’t nail bite anymore, but I remember every time what I felt like and I remember we all have a disability or fear or anxiety that we can’t see. And I put the diamond compass in my eye and hope my projects let those that had to be brave enough to try over and over again, to pick up that dime, tears down my face, the dime blurry with tears, head hot. I learned tenacity in uncomfortable situations. The dime made it to the leaders hand. And my mom was smart enough to know that that group was lesser for the light of me, when she let me decide to not stay.