25 August 2009

on becoming

this quote came to my attention as i was reading an article about social change and global warming:

'we must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. we are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. for some strange reason i can never be what i ought to be until you are what you ought to be. and you can never be what you ought to be until i am what i ought to be.'
-martin luther king, jr.

i completely understand the ideas of relatedness and interconnectedness that exists between all living things... and i find this quote to be profound for it reaches further than the personal journey we are on to attain the highest level of consciousness we can... from our practice of working upon ourselves, and then reaching out with ever more to give, the great challenges of our time can be met...

but to be honest, 'i can never be what i ought to be until you are what you ought to be.' made me stop... what do you think? on the most deeply personal level, aren't we supposed to be able to gain great insights through our own diligence? do we need others to attain our own enlightenment? does it help to be surrounded by those that are like minded? of course... but is it necessary? i don't know, i am still thinking about it - and i still have a lot of work to do... i suppose that is why dr. king wrote, 'for some strange reason'... as applied to the species, this statement rings loud and true... we need to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem... we can achieve more together if we are on the same page, working toward a common goal...

these earrings are about becoming what you ought to be... the lotus flower is one of the eight auspicious symbols in buddhism... the roots of the lotus are set down in the mud, the stem growing and rising up through the murky water until it reaches the surface, where the flower turns its face to the sun... the white flower is a symbol of enlightenment, of the purity of body, mind and speech... these earrings are made in 3 layers... the bottom is a paddled copper drop representing the roots... the center is a spiral headpin with moonstone representing growth and the flashes of insight gleaned with emotional understanding... and the dome shaped disc is stamped with the lotus flower itself... hammered and antiqued... i made all but 2 of the pieces - the split ring and the spiral headpin which was made by rocki at rockis supplies... in truth, i didn't realize how i was building these, how the 3 parts were symbolic, it only came later when i was finished...

imagine whole water gardens of lotus where each blossom represents an enlightened human
& what could be accomplished if those were to be...


  1. Love your thoughts - and the earrings!!

  2. Love the simplistic beauty of the lotus!

  3. Maire what a beautiful message...
    These earings are so so beautiful, your copper work is very unique..

  4. I love learning about the inspirations behind your designs!

  5. gorgeous pair of earrings! i especially love the lotus symbol.

    it's really strange... i was talking to a film director once and we were just discussing about tv commercials. he said something really interesting. he said our commercials(in malaysia) are still about coming together, working as a nation (we're multi racial that's why instilling this concept is very important), "familyness" and all the stuff about togetherness and achieving thru teamwork. whereas, say american commercials (or commercials in developed countries) ... celebrate individualism, uniqueness of an individual, one man's quest and achievement... so is it safe to say that as we travel along the path of becoming a more developed nation that we are moving from being part of a whole to just being me? i dunno ... but it does seems like it.

  6. thank you all so very much... am having fun with the copper and will move into sterling too at some point...
    luthien, thank you for the note - i really appreciated learning about that... and you are right, there is a large component of the western/american culture that celebrates the individual, at times to the detriment of the whole... there must be a way to strike a balance, but it hasn't yet happened as a society...

  7. Beautiful. I love how all the parts come together in one symbolic whole.

  8. This quote really made me stop and ponder what might be at the core of what he was saying: "i can never be what i ought to be until you are what you ought to be. and you can never be what you ought to be until i am what i ought to be."

    Feeling very Kabbalahesque to me. We each work to scrape off our dark hulls to reveal light and together reach a more enlightened state. Every one has to put in the time or the whole goblet of light will never come together.

  9. thank you leann...

    beth, thanks for sharing your thoughts with me... my gut was guiding me to the supportive role of others on our journey, and it certainly is an easier trip when in the company of those striving to do the same... the effect would take on exponential proportions... i love the way you explained it - very beautiful...


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