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The Most Precious Jewel

A ritual performance (Pilgrimage Series, 1998 - ongoing)

I sit beading a fabric globe. I wear a mask to convey an air of tranquil anonymity, the Earth being the star. My work is a prayer, beads in many sacred traditions being tools for invocation. If my visual appearance incites a passerby to stop by, the interaction may be about the Earth, or not… What is meaningful is the encounter. To concretize the meeting I invite the participant to stitch three beads on their favorite place on Earth. Beads, for me, are also tears: one is a tear of joy for the Earth's unutterable beauty, a second a tear of sorrow for her ills, a third for the mystery… a gesture for the Earth… promised or past…


I return time and time again to the Place of Meeting on the Plaza of Santa Fe. When the globe is entirely beaded, the pilgrimage continues on the road where I will carry my most precious possession, the 'bejeweled earth', in a bundle hanging from my staff. After traveling throughout New Mexico, my adoptive land, I will see where my path will take me…


I do what I do because I am called, not to make anything in particular happen. The heart being my metaphor of choice, I only share what has touched my heart… I am also aware of one other thing—the heart is the source of my creativity.

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