Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Chinese Proverb

There is a chinese proverb that says 'A Frog In A Well Knows Not The Ocean.'

This necklace is about that proverb, and has green, blue, white and red colors in the glass and stone beads. In the native american culture, the four direction have symbolic meanings, and colors are associated with the four directions. Blue represents North, for cold, defeat and trouble. White is South and represents warmth, peace and happiness. Red is East, the color of the Sacred Fire, blood, and success. West is black, the color representing problems and death.

In the western culture white represents purity, and is often worn at weddings, while in the asian culture white is a color for mourning, and is worn at funerals.

The stamped metal has the proverb written out on it, with a replica seashell bead for the dangle and the handmade wire clasp. There is a small red frog, captured in glass, on the left side of the metal proverb charm, the green beads are the mossy walls of the sides of the well, and the jasper bead is the stone of the walls of the well. Two large blue-green world beads are for the waves of the blue ocean on this water planet. There are two large beads of red coral, which is becoming rarer due to changes in the temperature of the oceans.

The story told by the chinese proverb means that a frog who lives his entire life in the waters of a well thinks that is the size of the whole world. He doesn't know that there is a huge ocean of water full of life and motion that he has never seen. For the frog, the whole world is the size of the well, because he is unaware of the larger waters and lands outside what he knows. It's outside his experience, and for him it does not exist.

Have been thinking about the planet, all the talk about climate change, rising tides and temperatures for life in the ocean, and wanted to make a piece that signified those ideas. That sometimes we, as a culture and as a people, act like frogs in a well, unaware that the great ocean exists, and our impact on it.


Gaea said...

So thoughtful and beautiful!

LLYYNN said...

Thanks, Gaea, and for letting me add this piece to your flickr group on Storyteller Jewelry. What a great resource and idea!

Coral Southwell said...

In the Celtic tradition (according to Mara Freeman in Kindling the Celtic Spirit) the directions are associated with the following colors, seasons, characteristics, and Irish provinces:
North - black, winter, battle, Ulster
East - purple, spring, prosperity, Leinster
South - white, summer, music, Munster
West - brown, autumn, learning Connacht
Meath, in the center (where Tara is) was associated with kingship.

LLYYNN said...

Thanks, Coral! That's good information, would make a good inspiration for a jewelry piece.

Thanks for dropping by the blog, so good to hear from you, my friend.