My wife Therese had the idea of going to the gem, mineral, and fossil show held at the State Museum. To humor her, I agreed, though this isn’t really my thing. Well, something to do, a little salutary marital togetherness. I was kind of expecting a dull exhibit, but instead it was a vendor bourse, very different, quite extensive, and fascinating.
We saw some amazing and bizarre stuff; the variety mind-boggling. So many mineral names I’d never heard before, seemingly without end. Many crystals looked quite astonishing, like dramatic little sculptures.
And cool fossils. Lots of ancient cephalopods (sea creatures like squids), highly polished and beautiful; hard to believe they were not carved by cunning artists.
Many items, like those, seemed surprisingly affordable too. As a passionate collector myself (of coins), I could see how people could really get into collecting this stuff. Rocks rock!
Therese and I tend to be lookers, not buyers, at art shows and the like, and we certainly had no expectation of purchasing anything here. But when I drew attention to one small item, Therese was blown away by it. Next to all the other bigger and dramatic pieces on view, it might not have seemed like much, a very simple little thing. Indeed, its very simplicity made it dramatic in its own way. It was a piece of whiteish rock on which was perched a good sized perfect cube* of silver-black pyrite crystal, about an inch on each side. With surfaces so smooth they were mirrors. I couldn’t recall ever having seen a crystal so geometrically perfect. Therese could hardly believe this was actually made by Nature; it took some convincing.
And this too was not terribly expensive ($45), so we bought it. No sooner had we done so, and moved on to other sellers, suddenly we started seeing similar ones, even cheaper. But none possessed quite the dramatic in-your-face perfection of ours, so I was not unpleased.
It looks other-worldly to me, as though dropped onto our planet by ethereal aliens, like something out of Kubrick’s 2001. With mystical powers.
Therese calls it spooky, saying it almost scares her, and that it changes her relationship with existence.
* Actually, it’s what’s called a rectangular prism, as the facets are not exactly square.