Abaco Islands, Bahamas
Carved wood in angular patterns, the snap of children’s cheap fireworks, noodles and vegetables and soy, and a hundred animals dipped whole into snickering oil. Coins tinkle in good luck fountains.The shelves of the curio shops heave with possibility. Silken gowns needled with branching trees shimmer in the shop-worn half-light over herbal remedies with mystical poetry and freshly dipped incense sticks.
Within locked vitrines, the shimmer of a green stone softly beckons, shaped by an ancient civilization since the dawn of recorded time. Jade. A fleshy, green milk stone shaped with knives and polished into undulating sculptures and talismans, sceptres and pipes, the delicate petals of a peony and the fierce teeth of a dancing dragon. Each is made with millennia of charm and lore, craft and knowledge, force and spirit—more complex than can ever be deciphered.
Am I just another Westerner with visions of exoticism and chinoiserie? Maybe, but here these sights are met with reverence, my ignorance acknowledged. I have freed myself to love these shadowbright complexities, dragging with it all the awkward intimacies and inevitable fuck-ups.
The stone is not stone, but pure color. Gemmy possibility soft enough to statue. Ancient already when the first of the ancient historians whose work has survived attempted to decipher the carvings of a lost world. They could only guess the Six Ritual Jades—heaven and earth, plus the four cardinal directions: north and west, south and east.
#5SECONDVACAY ABACO ISLANDS, BAHAMAS PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADAM MYHILL
AN EXCERPT FROM JADE / #00A86B, A PROJECT BY ANDREW BERARDINI