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Articles tagged with: tucson gem show

Keeping the Shiny Objects Shiny

final gem show thoughts, toward the metaphorical as so often

Keeping the Shiny Objects Shiny

The spectacle of the Gem Show--the enormous, the ancient, the dazzlingly polished, the uniquely colored, and all the buying and selling--is the ultimate celebration of bright and shiny objects.


Of course, a bright and shiny object can be anything that catches your eye, holds your attention, and comes to represent something else. The "something else" could be simply beauty (is that why magpies hoard tinsel and aluminum foil in their nests?), or prestige ("I want people to see me wearing this expensive diamond"), or commitment to a practice or community or relationship ("I wear this shawl because I'm of this religion"/"This crystal will clear my psychic space"/"With this ring I thee wed").

Acquiring the bright shiny object is a dopamine hit--excitement of taking possession of the item, significance of time and place and intention. The more symbolic the object, the more of a "hit" you get when acquiring it. Symbolic could just mean "more expensive," but it could be a gift that cost no money. Some of my very favorite "gems" I picked up hiking beaches and hills.

So, how do we keep our bright shiny objects shiny?

More on the Gem Show

there's still time!

More on the Gem Show

I took off from my routine again on Tuesday and took in some more of the Gem Show. Whereas last time was inside a convention center, this time was the more grass roots, street party face of the show, the sprawl and hustle and bright colors and sunshine lining the motels that line the frontage road on the west side of the I-10.

So much is happening at the moment, and as I said before, it would be so easy to miss out on this. During my wanderings, replete of course with conversations with strangers, I ran into people who've lived in or close to Tucson for decades who were finally coming to see what all the fuss was about with the gems.

Even the way I got myself out to the show was a beautiful illustration of how life converges. I experience myself as the center of my own web, giving meaning to the connections between different parts of my life.

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