A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

My Photo
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Glass Bead Game

In his masterpiece, Das Glasperlenspeil, Hermann Hesse describes a game, the "glass bead game," in which all the insights, noble thoughts, and works of art that the human race has ever produced are converted into intellectual values which the Magister Ludi, the "Master of the Game," plays as a musician plays on his instrument. Each of these concepts is a "glass bead" in the game. Unfortunately, Hesse tantalizes us with the majesty and mystery of this ultimate game-of-games without specifically explaining the rules. We're simply left with the intimation that music and art and philosophy and poetry and the very laws of nature are all mystically interrelated, and crystallized into a handful of beads. Scholars, scientists, and most recently computer gamers have been trying to figure out ever since 1943 exactly how this game might be played.

I haven't a clue myself, but when I saw these glass beads created by musician Rebecca Rose, I felt the harmony and stereophany I have always associated with Hesse's masterwork. I'm talking about the balls fashioned from a dozen Swarovski crystals, elegantly spaced on silk/nylon string with individual beads and pearls. I don't know how she does it, and even if she showed me, I wonder if I'd manage to fumble together even one of them, let alone a whole necklaceful.

I saw these necklaces at the Ashfield Fall Festival, along with lots of other tasteful jewelry, all handmade by local artisans. Nothing made my fingers itch with covetous lust like these. Spare, elegant, and of course made with the aurora borealis crystals to which I'm so partial. I have a whole drawerful of vintage AB pieces, mostly purchased at Brimfield. I'd love to add one of Rebecca Rose's new pieces to my collection.

I had a nice talk with the artist, who's a violinist. She gave me her card, and I scurried home and logged onto http://www.rebeccarosejewelry.com/ to daydream about which one I'm going to buy as soon as the barge full of $$$ comes in.

Labels: , , , ,