This just popped up in my Twitter feed, and so I thought I'd share.
Tuesday night, I went with a friend and fellow artist to a meeting of another art group. She had been with me last February when my own group exploded and essentially told me I'm not good enough for them. So she invited me to join another group that she said was much more friendly, much more welcoming.
I had my doubts, but in the interest of her friendship and in an effort to fight off my own discouragement and cynicism, I agreed to go.
I deliberately wore a bright, bright green tee-shirt. Surely someone would spot this bright green color, recognize that the person wearing it was a stranger, and they'd come to introduce themselves and welcome the stranger to the group.
My friend introduced me to one person, Suzanne. Another woman introduced herself as Wilma and introduced me to Mike; both of them were sitting at our table. The woman seated next to me introduced herself as Dorothy, but never introduced me to her companion who sat on her other side. I never did learn his name.
At the front table the members all signed in and registered for various raffles. There was a separate sign-in sheet for guests. I signed the guest list.
In the course of the meeting, the VP never once welcomed the visitors. He did not read off our names, ask what type of art we did, nothing. Guests were not acknowledged at all.
When the three-hour meeting was over, I felt as if I'd not been there.
Wednesday morning, after that unpleasant experience, I went grocery shopping. I had to get some items from the deli department, where two customers were ahead of me, one being waited on at the time and the other waiting to be waited on. The sole person in the department took care of the first customer, then while he was slicing ham and liverwurst for the second lady, another woman walked up. As soon as the second lady was done, the third woman just started placing her order. Ham, turkey, baby swiss, beef bologna.
I think it was while he was slicing the bologna that yet another woman arrived, obviously friends with the beef bologna lady. Or maybe not? Maybe she just started conversations with whomever she encountered. It didn't matter. As soon as beef bologna lady was done, this fourth woman started her order. Pastrami, salami, and a few slices of sandwich pepperoni.
Finally, there was no one else, and the clerk asked me what I wanted.
"Am I invisible?" I asked.
Last week, just prior to our rock hunting trip on Saturday, I had a brief and unpleasant experience online that pushed me to back off Twitter for a while. Ironically, the incident didn't happen on Twitter, and the unpleasant person was swiftly dealt with. But after the rock hunting trip and the work of cleaning up the rocks the following day and then a bunch of other stuff, I continued to stay away from Twitter. It wasn't anything specific, but I felt as if there was a whole lot of negativity I was letting myself get dragged into, and I needed a little bit of a break.
Last night I checked in on Twitter and discovered some people had been asking about me, was I okay, was I still around. I was enormously touched, indeed moved to tears then and again as I write this.
You made me feel visible again.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Happy Valentine's Day.
. . . and I still ache just about everywhere.
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we didn't get to the exact location I intended. As a result, we didn't find as much of the pink chalcedony as I had hoped. Whether there will be another opportunity this spring before BF's foot surgery the end of March, I don't know.
I did make some interesting finds, however.
This doesn't look like much, but it's actually about ten pounds of purple moss jasper. I have found a few fist-sized pieces in the general area before, but this was a surprise at this precise location. It was locked in the host rock -- likely solidified volcanic ash -- and we had to hammer it out, then carry it back to the vehicles. Luckily, my photographer friend Johanna had a backpack and she did the heavy work! ♥♥
I was able to chip off a piece of it this morning, and I'll be starting it in a small tumbler load later this week to see how it polishes. There are some fractures running through the whole stone, so it's possible that it won't work for slicing -- and it's too big for my little saw anyway -- but it should make lovely tumbled pieces.
Another unexpected discovery was two small chunks of red moss/plume agate. They were lying about two feet apart in a narrow wash. I took pictures this afternoon, but the shots of the larger stone -- and it's only about the size of a ping pong ball -- came out blurry, but the smaller stone photographed well.
It's too small to make anything out of, but the red inclusion is nifty, and so is the other side of the stone, covered with little tiny but clearly formed crystals and "bots." Bots aren't really a thing; it's a corruption of the mineralogical term botryoidal (from the Greek for "grape-like") which means a stone has formed in bumps like a bunch of grapes. The "bots" on this stone are very, very tiny.
The crystals aren't much bigger!
The objective of our trip, however, wasn't purple jasper or moss agate. It was pink chalcedony. We found quite a bit, but not as much as on previous visits. Still, there were some very nice pieces waiting for us.
The desert rose on the right is one of the most perfectly formed specimens I've ever found. There is almost always a spot on every piece of chalcedony where it has broken away from another piece. This one has no separation point; it is exactly as it formed in a void in the volcanic ash.
And the bottom
It has bots, too!
We ended up with a five-gallon bucket almost full of rocks, all of which have to be cleaned. I spent about six hours on it yesterday, and that just made my neck and shoulders ache even more.
I would love to go again, but that may not be possible until fall. We'll see. We'll see.
We didn't have the heavy dew this morning, but I still managed to get a few pictures of the fairy duster flowers.
These are buds and the lighter green new spring leaves still with some dew on them this morning.
This is one opened and still in the shade, where the sun hasn't quite dried it.
Buds and a blossom.
Cactus aren't doing much yet, but they're getting ready!
Even the aloes are sending up their first spikes.
We've had more than enough rain this winter to pretty much guarantee a glorious spring. I'll keep you posted!