Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Passion and Prejudice

From across the counter, I faced the woman and pondered the question she posed. Shifting from one foot to the other, I attempted to formulate a response that would adequately describe how I feel. The problem was the question was far too broad to answer simply, and the emotional stake I have developed on the subject matter was too, well . . . emotional!

Multi-Stone Bisbee Turquoise Bracelet
Multi-Stone Bisbee Turquoise Bracelet

The question was not all that complicated, "What is your favorite turquoise?" There I stood, however, confounded by a vast array of choices. I looked into the lady's big brown, inquisitive eyes and felt overwhelmed by the possibilities. I considered opting out of the discussion by claiming a disabilitating paralysis when it comes to such matters. I looked to Steve for help, but he quickly defaulted, as if he too were curious about my reply. I looked back to the attractive, fifty-something woman and came to the realization that I had choice angst!

The woman had entered the trading post an hour or so earlier and proceeded to put me through my paces. She wanted to know everything I knew about rugs, baskets, jewelry, folk art, Navajo moccasins and turquoise. The turquoise portion of my litany must have attracted her attention, because her eyes lit up and she grilled me on the subject until I simply ran out of information. She must have recognized my passion, because she honed right in on my weakness; ultimately asking the doom's day question.

I felt like the poor guy I had heard about while listening to NPR's Radio Lab. The man was an accountant for a large corporation; a smart, successful man living the American dream. It seems doctors found and successfully removed a tumor planted in the orbital frontal cortex, just behind his eyes. After the operation the guy seemed fine; no problems, he still scored in the 97th percentile on intelligence tests. Very smart!

Shorty after the surgery trouble surfaced when decisions needed to be made; he could not make them, not even to save himself. Eventually his life fell apart; his wife and children could not tolerate his new, indecisive nature, neither could his associates. Everything unraveled because the man became overly analytical. By removing the tumor, the doctors had cut him off from his emotional mind. The guy became Spock, a Vulcan; a man without emotion. It seems you gotta have "feelings" to balance rational and emotional thought and to enjoy a fully functional, balanced life. Emotion and logic working together, who knew?!

The difference between that guy and me is that I am often ruled solely by emotion. I struggle with exaggerated "feelings", especially when it comes to turquoise. Oh, all right! There are a few other things I am passionate about, but we will focus on turquoise for the time being. I wonder from what planet those of us with disproportionate emotional issues derive. I suspect even Mars might not claim me as a citizen.

Carico Lake Turquoise Cluster Bracelet
Carico Lake Turquoise Cluster Bracelet

Never did I give the woman a definite answer. Instead, I spoke of marveling at the hardest and most matrix-free Sleeping Beauty and fawning over the electric color in classic Blue Gem turquoise. I discussed the spider web patterns of black matrix surrounding islands of deep blue color zones and the unusual purple cast of Lander Blue. I explained the difference between the soft gentle pastels associated with yellow limonite and the rare, deep-water blue and almost imperceptible black spider web patterns in old #8 turquoise.

Becoming overly exuberant, I spoke of Pilot Mountain, water web Kingman, Indian Mountain and pyrite encrusted Morenci. She took a step back when my eyes glazed over while I attempted to describe the exotic allure of Chinese, Tibetan and Persian stones. When I got around to the striking beauty of Carico Lake turquoise, with its contrasting zones of blue and green, the woman headed for the Kokopelli doors. I did not even realize she was gone until I finished up with the wild and crazy greens of Fox and Royston.

When I emerged from my turquoise trance, I looked around for my now absent audience and found only Steve looking at me with an abnormal, almost frightened, look on his face. He edged by me, grabbed a couple strands of ghost beads as he went past the display rack and disappeared into his office. He was worrying the beads and mumbling something imperceptible, as if trying to cast off undesirable spirits. I shook my head in exasperation, wondering why other people could not become so intimately involved with the power of turquoise. If only they could walk a mile in my Navajo moccasins, they might see the truth.

With Warm Regards,
Barry, Steve and the Team.

Copyright 2008 Twin Rocks Trading Post

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