Unyielding

Unyielding.  Fixed.  Staunch.  Pertinacious.  Unmovable.  Merciless.  Adamant.  Relentless.  Determined.

But first, let me tell you the story in its fullness.

We were in Arizona hunting Mearn’s quail under the exquisite sky islands and Tater Tot was working brilliantly despite the heat of the day.  We crested a drainage and I could tell he was on scent so I hurried my pace more, shifted my shotgun and did my best to keep up with him.  He began to slow, taking halting steps, doing the thing pointers do when they test their prey and calculate, step by step, how close they can pinpoint a bird without busting it.  I was watching him closely as I followed him into what I thought was a sort of meadow, thickly carpeted terrain with a funny looking sort of grass.  On my third step into this strange flora, I realized I was not walking through grass.  Through the double layering of my brush pants I was being stabbed in a hundred different directions by a tiny forest of mini-yucca (Latin name unknown).  Suffering succotash, it hurt.  I took a moment to glance down before I lifted my eyes to my dog who was now locked up on a hard point.  Something Robert taught me years ago is come hell or high water, you honor your dogs work by following up on every single point.  To not do so is a betrayal.  So I kept on walking through that yucca patch, each step as agonizing as the next, and soon enough I reached my dog, flushed the quail, did some shooting and fetching and once all the action was over with, I turned and walked through that yucca forest again to safe ground.  On the way to safety, I stopped and snapped off a stalk of yucca blooms that had turned to seed pods, saying to myself, “This experience and these pods will make lovely earrings some day.”

I’ve always admired the yucca.  We tend to spend my birthday in Arizona or New Mexico on a camping and hunting trip in the month of February most years.  One year I told Robbie all I wanted for my birthday was a flawlessly beautiful yucca spike specimen with not a pod missing.  We spent days looking for the perfect one and I had it on display in my living room for years until we left Pocatello and I had to downsize my collection of curios.  I like the yucca against the gloaming in the wide open territory of the high desert — it’s high desert punk and I’ve always been a little counter culture in my own way.  I like the way the plant is beautiful but fierce.  I like those tenacious blooms that persevere in all manner of wind and weather.  When I look at the yucca, the words I began this prose with come to mind: unyielding, fixed, staunch, pertinacious, unmovable, merciless, adamant, relentless, determined.  When I passed through the unassuming forest of deadly yucca on that fine day when I chose not to quit on my dog, I was all of those things, too.

Now you know the true story behind the work.

I’ve been building these beautiful yucca earrings of mixed metals and man, are they wildly elegant.  As they move and sway and shimmy they whisper out the word UNYIELDING so that you might be reminded to remain staunch of soul no matter the task at hand.

Comments

  1. Just got back a few days ago from my first trip to AZ. My husband asked me today if I would move there. Was definitely a beautiful respite from our Chicago weather. Xoxo

    • Arizona is wonderful…IN THE WINTER.

      We lived in the low desert of Arizona for 3.5 years while Robbie was a fish biologist for the federal government and it was too hot for me 9 months out of the year. But in January and February…it’s pure magic.

  2. Those earbobs are just superb! And we could all stand to be reminded of our fierceness from time to time!❤️

  3. Beautiful, love them mix of organic elements and metal! I’m always collecting seeds, shells and rocks for my earrings, too…Mother Natures makes the best jewelry findings!:)

  4. Melissa (acozybee) says:

    Beautiful!I have been reading your blog for many, many years and love seeing this evolution of sporting culture meets art, rough and tumble meets delicate and glimmer. Much like our beloved Idaho.

  5. Ohhhh guuuuurrrrrrrrl! Now these, THESE, are somethin,’ I’ve been asking this question of jewelry makers a lot lately: how heavy are they? Could they be worn every day? I adore these and the story behind them. xoxo

    • This iteration of the Unyielding Earrings is heavier — I used a LOT of metal in the design. I can wear them all day but at the end of the day it feels like I had big earrings on all day. If you have sensitive lobes, this specific design is probably not for you. But I have good news, I made two other iterations!!! They’ll be up in the shop, too, today.

      XX

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