Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Contemplative Souvenirs from Iona...

   I have no desire for Abbey refrigerator magnets or tea cozies shaped like sheep but I did want a souvenir of both my time on Iona and for this pilgrimage in general.  I found them in a lovely silversmith shop across from my hotel.

   There is a long tradition of silver smithing here on Iona. A young woman as taken up the craft.  She makes lovely contemporary pieces and showcases other artist's work, like the ring I got.

   It is in two parts and depicts the elevation of the island as you sail around it.  I loved how it symbolically denotes the "thin place" between heaven and earth...sometimes pulling apart, sometimes coming together. I couldn't have designed a better souvenir!

   The second souvenir I chose is called "The Wee Moon".  She is making it for me and will send it to my home in Maine in June but this is an example from the shop. It will depict the exact phase of the moon on my 65th birthday. It will actually be opposite this example.  The day of my birthday, the moon was just off full with just a sliver of dark along one edge.  She will inscribe the event on the back. 

   You can see her work online here.  Aosdana means people of the art, craft or gift.  I'm giving her shop a little plug because I was so taken by her work.

   Finding handmade pieces that reflect the meaning of your journey is what makes for a contemplative souvenir.  Next time you travel, look for something that is a memento you will look at and remember.  An object that will forge a connection to your experience. Photographs are, of course, lovely souvenirs but an object, hand-made by a local artist, is also something to cherish.


Unknown said...

What an amazing souvenir, Patricia! I love the idea of capturing a moment in time with the phase of the moon, especially because it seems secretive—not everyone will know what it means, but it will forever be hidden in your heart and remind you of the threshold captured in time that you chose to intentionally mark by this journey. Excited to have you share it with my audience at A Sacred Journey!

Patricia Turner said...

Yes, that's a good way to look at it. It will be my little secret and that makes it all the more special! Thank you!