24 Sep 2009

Reliquary Synchronicity

Posted by Teapots Happen

January 3, 2008

(at the Minneapolis Institute of Art with Ron & Emilie)


It was an hour or so before closing time and we were higher than gods when we walked past the front desk and up the stairs, into a Tibetean gallery of the MIA’s Asian Arts exhibition.

After looking over a few scroll painting deals, I found myself examining various ornate metal objects in a case. My eye was drawn to the descriptive tag for a rather nondescript ancient container – the word “reliquary” leaping out at me. It’s hard to explain the reasons, but I felt very attracted to the word. The tag explained that ancient paintings often showed such containers at the foot of shrines’ Buddha images.

Ron was behind me and over a ways – I called him over.

“Reliquary!” I laughed, feeling he would understand my attraction to the concept – after all, wasn’t my whole house a reliquary of reliquaries, somehow? My thoughts were not rationally explicit, but I felt a deep connection to the concept that I thought would be obvious to others – especially Ron, who had lived in my house and was an active practitioner of various magicks.

“What?” Ron didn’t get what the hell I was trying to convey.

“A reliquary – for relics!”


“For God Stones!” I exclaimed.

His face made it perfectly clear I was only confusing him even more – and then I realized that even I had no idea what I was talking about.  So I opted to read to him from the tag. which didn’t help much either, since it didn’t say anything about either stones or gods – just ‘precious objects’ and saints.

“Hmmm, so I guess it’s not for stones – but you know that’s what I’d put in one!”

(Note: I have a thing with rocks.)

I still found it interesting, and loved the word, which I repeated to myself several times in an effort to remember. Reliquary. Reliquary. Reliquary. I even pulled out my cellphone to text message the word to Mandelbrot, but then didn’t, knowing I would now be able to remember the word without help … although I had no idea why it mattered to me.

A couple of hours later, we had moved through various other culture’s ancient arts, and were back in the Asian section – now in the Japanese gallery.

A small object in its own case drew my eye from a distance – when I came to check it out, I saw it was an ornate metal container with a crystal orb in the middle, filled with an assortment of small polished rocks.

The tag labeled it as a Reliquary – and then went on to explain that in ancient Japan such reliquaries held rocks and stones that represented various deities.

aka “God Stones,” I reckon.


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6 Responses to “Reliquary Synchronicity”

  1. Good one!


    Trish MacGregor

  2. good lord

    i was writing on a forum i belong to this morning… we have a thread about our favourite words…

    mine for today was reliquary

    i am not bullshitting!!!


    jane aka faerian

  3. Well then it was YOUR fault that I’ve been so laggardly in getting this site updated … I had to wait until you were ready to declare your word of the day before I could post this! heh

    Neat that you share my taste in words … also, you should send me the link to the forum!


    teapots happen

  4. hee hee

    i belong to the SARK forum http://sarkforum.freeforums.org/ we chat about all kinds of meandering things in there… it is a lovely place!

    by the way

    i collect heart shaped stones and so this post has special resonance for me!


    jane aka faerian

  5. Jane, that is neat. To me, those would be hard to find. He has a good sized heart shaped stone but doesn’t acknowlege it as so because it is so very subtle. Kind of like you would see it better if you were blind.



  6. i must need blatant amounts of love because those heart shapes turn up everywhere… petals, stones, tears in fabric, ripped bits of paper, blobs of paint…


    jane (faerian)