“THE FULL MOON—THE MANDALA OF THE SKY”—Tom Robbins
Isn’t it magical when you read something and feel an instant communion with the words? I’ve never read Tom Robbins, but his metaphor for the Moon, a mandala—an ancient circular Buddhist symbol of spirituality—seemed almost telepathic when I read it.
Ever since Manjusha Jewels came into being, I’ve drawn inspiration from art, different cultures and peoples I’ve seen and interacted with throughout my journey, and even from my own lineage that has a rich and complex history with jewelry.
This time the sketches took on a life of their own. An intrinsic part of me that I hadn’t tapped into before—enmeshed in the spirals of my DNA—came to life. Spanning the thousands of miles separating us, beams of moonlight lapping our suburban porch at night struck a chord and drew me in. I was moonstruck!
I think that’s why I feel compelled to write this. Not simply to introduce my latest designs, because I don’t really feel any urge to describe to you the intricacies of each piece to imbue this collection with the value I hope you’ll see in it. The Moon needs no embellishment. Its simplicity reveals its depth of truth.
Though I’d like to believe there’s some magic at play here. My name, Jyotsna, means moonlight in Hindi. It’s not colloquial, and I’ve certainly never heard it being used literally—just a name I was given and took for granted. And so it was that I decided to reacquaint myself with my celestial namesake. I found that my name and its gender were not outliers: we women have always owned the moon. The Greeks loved Luna, the Romans adored Selene, while Chang’e—the Moon Goddess in ancient Chinese mythology—carries the elixir of life.
Now you might know this, but I confess I had no inkling that we wouldn’t exist had the Moon not been there. About four billion years ago, during what is called the Age of Cataclysm, most of the Moon’s surface was cratered by asteroids that would have almost certainly destroyed the Earth had they got past the Moon. And today, it’s the Moon’s gravity that keeps Earth spinning on an inclined plane. If you took the Moon away, our planet would start wobbling like a top and life would not survive. So, you see, the Moon is like a keel that keeps our planet from tipping over as it spins through the universe.
Why am I telling you all of this? I think what I’m trying to do, somewhat feebly, is convey a sense of what this collection has been forged from. Before I began designing it, I spent many nights looking at the Moon. One day I began thinking about its craters and scars that do nothing to diminish its beauty and about its dark side that sits contentedly while turning its face to the sun. When I look at these pieces, that’s what I see—darkness and light coexisting in a delicate balance and beauty borne out of imperfections.
As I write this, a thin sliver of light hangs in the night sky. But I know in less than a month it’ll be back, restored to its fullness—a testament to its consistent and trustworthy presence.
On that note, I present to you the Luna Collection—dedicated to my husband of 44 years, Sanjiv, who has been very much like the Moon to me—steadfast, and a constant source of inspiration and light. ▣
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