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Embodying wisdom and beauty

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I have been a lover of crystals for many years, so when I heard about the Mostra dei Cristalli (Crystal Exhibition) I couldn't wait to go. I ended up waiting because the mostra (exhibition) opened in April and when I told my sister, she said she'd be interested in going. This morning we walked along the lungarno (street alongside the Arno) across the Ponte Vecchio, and down via Guicciardini. The sun was already heating up the air at this early time in the morning. We walked past Palazzo Pitti and down via Romana to Museo di Storia Naturale - La Specola where the mostra is on display.

Behind a dark blue velour curtain is the first room of crystals. A long rectangular room with glass cases containing six rows of crystals of all shapes, colors, and sizes. The second I walked in I felt amazed and energized. Millions, if not billions, of years of the beauty created by our planet in one place. I walk around to each crystal and see where it came from. Countries like Pakistan, Madagascar, Brazil, Russia, India, Peru, France, USA, Spain, and Italy.

I greet the crystals that have come from so far. I am startled by the amazing beauty of each one. It's so difficult to pick a favorite one as my eye is attracted to each one. The ones I do find the most stunning are the ones that have two types of crystals intertwined like the Elbaite with Albite from Afghanistan that looks like a white cloud with a pink and green dagger piercing it, Morganite and Albite with Schorl from Brazil that has two pink blocks emerging from what appears like black tar on top of white ice, Rodocrosite with Quartz and Fluorite from Colorado that looks resembles a bright red square sitting on broken glass, and Aquamarine on Muscovite from Northern Pakistan that has a group of light blue crystals poking out of a large grey block that reminds me of shimmering shells.

I find it difficult to tear myself away from all these crystals; each one seems to be wanting attention. Only a couple of people are in the room while my sister and I look around. I find it surprising how quickly most o the people go through the mostra while my sister and I keep going back over and over the crystals.

I walk into the adjoining room which has three large amethysts in separate cases that face me. On each side is a television screen where a video is being played. The video shows how the crystals are mined. On the wall behind us are two display cases with more crystals from only Italy. These too are stunning and intriguing. I sit on the bench to take in their beauty. I wish there was a bench in the other room to appreciate all the crystals while I relax my body.

In the third room are unique crystals: one per case. A beautiful mix of colors that shine brightly under the spotlight behind the glass. This is the room I stay in the longest. I stand in front of each crystal and try to take in the beauty and wisdom of each one. I keep thinking about a quote that I read at the beginning of the mostra, "Crystals are grains of perfection in the chaotic matter." The quote comes from Adalberto Giazotto whose crystal collection is on display.

I find it amazing that the beauty of the crystals is not found in the symmetrical and flawless qualities, but rather in their uniqueness.

After we walked out of the museo (museum), we both felt energized. To me, crystals embody the wisdom of the universe and are shown to us as jewels of the earth.

I'm certainly going to return for another visit of the mostra, but in the meantime, I will be looking at the pictures of the crystals in the gallery. It's certainly not a substitute for going to the mostra because they are even more beautiful and enchanting in person. The crystals are to be experienced, not just examined.

May 2009
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