He held the rock out to her, its surface pocked with nooks and crannies bleeding patches of hematite like dried blood, blushing pink in places mingling with spaces clear and creamy like Chinese silk woven with dendritic black manganese sprouting and spreading from cracks: suggesting transformation.
The original rock is subjected to intense heat or pressure or both. Silica replaces the original chemistry streaking through the matrix. Hydrothermal fluids melt and separate the original form shooting it full of new substance, transforming the rock cellularly. Minerals caught in the flow extrude onto surfaces, follow the cracks. Cooling, crystals line vugs and fill pockets. The original rock is beyond recognition of its former state. It is transformed; it is altered.
So it is with her. Family and society press her into shape, direct her formation. Love hardens within assuming crystal form.
Now she begins her second act of creation. The original form is subjected to intense injection of hydrothermal fluid. It is forced into her veins, her arteries, the crevasses of her body, the recesses of her mind. This fluid is anger. Its heat transforms her. She needs to feel this anger to fuel the transformation. The heat and chaos, fire and passion, reds and oranges, violets and purples, create the absolute yellow and ultimately the purest clearest light, the light of her existence.
It is the heat, the intensity of fire that she needs now, its consummate gases becoming coals, burning orange glass. Reducing to the essential element. Gases igniting violet, blue, purple. No one comes near: the heat is too intense.
Inside she fractures, fragments, comes unbound, unbonded, spreads apart at the seams. A chemical torrent flows through veins releasing elements bonded for years. She needs these elements now. Holds on to the anger. Feeds it. Lets the burning do its work. Lets the cracks open. The surface can’t be perfect. Inside there must be vugs and seepages, flow and transport, movement and change.
Time is required passing unmeasured, uncensored, uncontrolled. The longer the time to cool, the more perfectly the crystals form.
But is it the crystal form she wants? What is the perfect form, her perfect shape? What shape should she strive for after the anger has done its work? Can she choose? Or, is the chaos of transformation beyond her control?
What surface does she want to exhibit? In the rocks she sees all the possibilities, all the surface textures, lusters - dull, metallic, pearly, vitreous, glassy, greasy and silky - and transparencies, the way in which light passes through the mineral specimen. How transparent does she want to be?
Is she reflective, or refractive? In the first case, she thinks of gold, of silver, of their malleability, of making them molten, tempered by fire, repousse, gilding, ductibility, assuming the desirable shape with ease. Resisting tarnish, taking a polish, making the surface reflective so light can’t penetrate. Is this the surface she wants: the malleable mass, the reflection, all that you can see?
Or, is it a crystal’s transparency that she desires? The surface meeting at angles, planar, geometric, juxtapositions and always letting light inward, refracting light, bending light, bouncing light outwards, concentrating its energy. An observer can see clear through to the other side.
Looking at rocks suggests all these possibilities.
NEXT WEEK: The Art of Prospecting: A Long Walk Over Uneven Ground…Alteration: Energy