Red Egg Jewelry


Red Egg prayer beads and jewelry

Red Egg prayer beads and necklaces are for sale. If you are interested please contact us or visit our Etsy shop.


 

 

 

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Red Egg is a center for art that deepens our connection with wisdom traditions around the world. Read more

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Wednesday
Sep242008

In the whirlwind – San José


Ok. So the whirlwind’s finally hit.

I keep telling Chris, “You know, we’re leaving in two weeks…”

Maybe this confuses you. You might be thinking, “Hey, wait a minute. I thought you guys had already left.” (Or like our friend Dave likes to say, “How can we miss you if you won’t go away?”)

I know.

But our three week trip to the Pacific Northwest was preliminary to our final cut-this-damn-boat-from-its-moorings departure. And we’re back in the Bay Area with a million things to tie up and get in order before we leave.

We’ve moved Ali up to Eugene for her sophomore year at the University of Oregon. Caitlin is slowly – I mean, slowly – moving into her own apartment in downtown San José. Our car got hit. We’re getting some immunizations tomorrow. Visas on Wednesday. We’re packing and storing stuff. We’re renting our house to our son Nate and two friends (“Really?” you innocently ask.) We thought we had finally gotten rid of our two damn cats (the girls are taking them). But now Nate’s bringing two new ones back.

I’m reading The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau. He explains how different a vacation is from a pilgrimage. In a vacation, you know where you’re going, more or less where you’re going to stay, and when -- and to what -- you’re going to return. If you’re lucky, you have a few side-adventures along the way.

In a pilgrimage, all hell breaks loose.

And just before you’re about to leave – right on the threshold of your adventure – the dragon suddenly rises up. Every possible obstacle appears. All the reasons why it would make more sense – just for now, mind you – to hover a little nearer home. Your mettle is tested. Or rather, your intention is.

But I’ve managed to finagle a year off work. So I’ll be damned if I’m stopping now.

And so I keep telling Chris, “Hey, do you even get it? We’re leaving in two weeks.” And “Yes, we ARE going to Cape Dorset”!

He nods serenely from his writing desk. (It’s either that, or he has a full-blown panic attack). But maybe (I’m crossing my fingers now), just maybe, it’s finally beginning to sink in.

Thursday
Sep182008

Maiwa – Vancouver

I hate to shop. I really hate to shop. In fact, I’m not even sure what the verb “shop” really means. But whatever it means, Debi is a master at it. This is just one of the ways we contradict – erh, I meant to say, complement – each other.

But here I am thumbing through these fabrics – luxuriating, really. I’ve just bought a shirt best worn by a camel-driver coming into a caravansary just ahead of a sandstorm. A nomad just whispered sagely in my ear, “Brother, pray to God and tie your camel to that post.”

And I found this place. Not Debi. Me. I wandered in here while avoiding shopping.

It’s Maiwa Handprints. And I started to get it as soon as I wandered through the door. Here and there amid the textiles, I find a book subtly perched. Each book describes a traditional weaving culture from around the world. And each cloth I pick up is handwoven, naturally dyed, beautiful. My hands understand everything at once.

Debi arrives. She understands even more quickly than I.

I pick up a brochure from the counter. “Craft is the language of a culture,” it reads.

This is our last day in Vancouver. Maiwa Handprints has established Maiwa Foundation as a non-profit organization dedicated to “eradicating poverty in rural villages by promoting the economic self-sufficiency of the artisans living in such villages.”

Charllotte Kwon, the founder of Maiwa, is leaving the next day for an exhibition on the Sunshine Coast. No matter. We ask if we could talk with her, and suddenly she appears and whisks us upstairs into offices that are more like the textile archives for someone wanting to research the resilience of artisanal weaving around the world.

She takes out handcrafted textiles almost too beautiful to bear. I’m scribbling madly. It takes me awhile to realize we’re learning a business model here. Charllotte spends six months of every year in India. Maiwa holds workshops every year, and symposia every other year, bringing artisans from rural villages who learn how to present their own work, teach a class, and give an exhibit.

A recent Maiwa symposium brought together weavers from a rural village in India and quiltmakers from Gee’s Bend in Alabama. The women couldn’t understand the others’ spoken language. That was no impediment. They understood the weaving. A Hindu woman took a quilt from a Gee’s Bend quilter’s hands and began working on it herself. The Gee’s Bend quilter took up the Indian weaving in turn herself. It went on and on that way.

“The whole point of Maiwa,” Charllotte says, “is to help people fall in love with the other.”


Visit Maiwa's website.

Sunday
Sep142008

The Spirit of Haida Gwaii – Vancouver

“The man in the middle seems to have some vision of what’s to come.

“Is the tall figure, who may or may not be the Spirit of Haida Gwaii, leading us – for we are all in the same boat – to a sheltered beach beyond the rim of the world, as he appears to be? Or is he lost in a dream of his own dreamings?

“The boat moves on, forever anchored in the same place.”

View Bill Reid's The Jade Canoe

Friday
Sep122008

Bill Reid (1920-1998) – Vancouver

“Well, I don’t consider myself Haida or non-Haida or white or non-white. I am a citizen of the west coast of North America and I have availed myself of all the inheritance I got from all directions.”

“Once we discard our ethnocentric, hierarchical ideas of how the world works, we will find that one basic quality unites all the works of mankind that speak to us in human, recognizable voices across the barriers of time, culture, and space: the simple quality of being well-made.”

Watch a short Bill Reid video