20 September 2011


My crystal fell from the kitchen window. The suction cup that holds it on the window pane let go, and the crystal clattered to the window sill. Now, it's done that lots of times before, no harm done - I just wipe the spot on the window, moisten the suction cup, and stick it back on, maybe after polishing up the crystal a bit to make it sparkle again. But this time, I was quite sad to see, the crystal got chipped. Too bad. I've had it for years; don't even remember where I first got it - a hand-me-down from someone, I believe. It's hung in my kitchen window, which, in this house and the last one I lived in, faces East, and it has painted rainbows on my walls and floors even when there weren't any to be had outside.

So now it's broken. My first thought was where I could get a new one - perhaps the gift shop in town? They used to carry things like that. I don't know if they still do, I could check next time I'm down there. But then I got to thinking: maybe a chip isn't the end of the world? Maybe not even the end of the rainbow. (Wait - the end of the rainbow? Isn't that meant to be where the pot of gold is hiding? Ah, whatever.) Regardless, the chip is a fault, a serious flaw in the beautiful faceting of my crystal. I can't tell if it has impacted the rainbow-painting yet; the sun hasn't been at the right angle to shine through it. But, it occurred to me, perhaps the chip, the flaw, might become an asset instead of a liability? Perhaps there will be new rainbows, different ones - not as straight as before, more curved, more (dare I say) interesting?

As I said, I don't know yet. I have to wait for the right morning, preferably a winter day when the sun's angle is low enough to send the colours dancing over my cupboard doors. Just one more thought, though: the chip on the crystal is not unlike the tiny chip that's missing from one of the diamonds on my engagement ring. You need a jeweller's glass to see it, as the diamond itself is already really small (0.1 carat, I believe); I know the chip is there, but most people couldn't tell. And it certainly hasn't impacted my marriage in any way. Rainbows do not seem to care about chips, in crystals or in diamonds.

Oh, and just so you're clear on that, none of this has anything to do with rainbow chips, those frighteningly multi-coloured concoctions of sugar, strange fats, unpronounceable whatsits, and food colouring, which people sometimes put in their innocent and unsuspecting cookies. It might, however, have a whole lot to do with such topics as "Autistic Pride" (a movement that seeks to make the diversity of human life more widely accepted among humankind), which uses rainbow colours as its symbol. I leave you to figure out the connection for yourself.

Life, the universe, and chipped rainbow-makers. It's all in the angle of light.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to hear how it shines with its newly acquired uniqueness!