Diamond in the rough


I have a ring that has a raw diamond in it. I like the philosophy of it. I like looking at it and thinking about what it is and what it can be.

One part about a raw diamond is that it represents potential. It is about seeing the beauty in something that hasn’t happened yet. But another part about it is about seeing the beauty as it is. Instead of being cut and shaped and faceted, it is good to appreciate the beauty it has right now.

This applies to people as well. Are we enlightened because we see someone’s potential or because we see them and appreciate them for who they are right now? Do we love the mustard seed because it is going to become a big tree or do we love the mustard seed because we can grind it up and make it into a spice for a meal?

Everything and everyone is valuable at every stage of their journey. Every part of the whole is valuable. We love eating the fruit of the cherry tree but we also love the wood of the cherry tree. No one part is more valuable. No one part is better than another. Even if we don’t chop up the tree we can still appreciate its beauty and its shade.

Let us not be human centric. The tree provides food and shelter for animals as well. And the tree just on its own has value. It doesn’t have to have value in relation to other things.

We need to think this way about ourselves, our fellow humans, and all of our fellow creatures on this earth. We need to see the beauty that is, not just the beauty that will be.

A ring makes it real.

I don’t wear diamonds very often. They get in the way. They draw attention.

When we got engaged, I insisted on a diamond ring. A ring makes it real, and a diamond ring is traditional. Not only did I want other people to know we were engaged, I wanted to know I was engaged.

I’d had two previous boyfriends who had asked me to marry them. It turns out that what they were really asking was if they were to ask me for real, would I say yes. There was no sincerity to their question, unbeknownst to me. I thought I was engaged but I ended up just being embarrassed. The one constant in both situations was that there was no ring.

I wasn’t about to make the same mistake a third time. When my husband and I started talking about getting married, I called his bluff. We’d talked about what we would wear at our wedding and who would be there and what kind of food we would have. It was fun in a daydreaming kind of way but I was getting tired of playing the fool. Are we serious about getting married or not? And if we are serious, where’s my ring?

When I said this, slightly more gently than that, he balked a bit. His concern wasn’t about getting married to me, or even getting married in general. His concern was price. He balked at the idea of spending two months’ salary on a ring.

I pointed out that it is the diamond industry that says that, and I’m a cheap date. I don’t need a big flashy ring. I am not a girly girl. But I do need something to be sure of his intentions.

Now, while I didn’t want a big flashy ring, I also didn’t want a ring made up of a bunch of diamond chips. I’ve seen these in the past, but I haven’t seen any in a while. They look sparkly from far away but really cheap close up. And I don’t just mean inexpensive. I mean low class, in that trailer park kind of way. These rings have a simple shank and a flat disk soldered on top. This is to maximize the surface area. It is about half an inch across. The tiny pieces are set in it, without prongs. It kind of looks like a tiny lotus pod, but without the symbolism. It kind of looks like it came out of a vending machine or a box of Cracker Jacks.

I needed something a little more than that. Something that wouldn’t draw attention or break the bank, but also something that wouldn’t elicit sympathy and be purchased with pocket change.

We settled on a happy medium. The funny thing is that I don’t even wear it anymore. It sticks up a bit, and that makes it hard to wear at work or in the winter when I have to wear gloves. I ended up getting another ring that is channel set. I wear it when I’m not going to the Y, because I take my rings off then and I don’t want to lose it.

I’ve also bought another ring for myself and it is a “diamond in the rough.” It is a raw diamond set into a sterling silver band that has been hammered. It is one of a kind, and I love the symbolism. If it were to be cut to make it sparkle, it would lose a lot of its size. I also like the idea of learning to see beauty in simple things.

Scary people.

I have a theory about people who try to look scary. It is the same with animals who have a lot of armor. Perhaps they aren’t really scary at all. Perhaps they are simply hiding how they really are.

Animals put up a pretty good show to be left alone. Hedgehogs have sharp spines to protect their soft bellies. It keeps them from being eaten. Skunks release a terrible smell for the same reason.

How many people put up a show of being scary because deep down they feel that is who they are? Perhaps they feel they are unworthy of love, so they put up barriers to make sure their theory isn’t proven wrong. Or perhaps secretly they are very shy.

They will go out of their way to make themselves ugly to keep people away. Deep down they are quite beautiful but they can’t see it yet. The eyes may be the window to the soul, but the hairstyle is a pretty good tipoff too, along with the clothing.

I think that some people see themselves as dangerous, so they make themselves look dangerous. In reality they aren’t dangerous at all, but they just want to keep you away. It is all a show.

But then there are alligators and sharks. They aren’t putting on a show. They really are dangerous. So maybe my theory means nothing. But, it is probably a good idea to give scary looking people a second (and third) chance. Otherwise you may miss out on a diamond in the rough.