She held the rock in her hands.
The stone had a slight glint in the light. The polish hadn’t faded since it was first polished generations ago.
Of all the rocks in the box, the one she chose was special. Though I can’t be sure of the exact details of the story, I know the general outline. It was formed in the Earth long ago and pulled out into the world of man with a Mayan ax. I don’t know the person who hacked it from the ground, but they would have lived about 800 years ago. I wonder if it was as beautiful when it first came into the light.
It was first polished around that time. I have an image of some expert hand holding it with love and smoothing its rough edges. Eyes like mine held up the rock and beheld its deep bluish-green hue. I don’t know how that stone smith saw the world, whether he would have seen it as a gift of some deity, or a beautiful part of a beautiful world.
It left those caring hands and bore witness to the pain of that land. Empires came and went, though we’re not really sure how. Then travelers from afar came with horses, disease, idols of deities being executed and destruction. They called themselves Spanish, though I can only imagine the locals could only know them as the bridegrooms of death.
It was stolen from the people of the land and held by the new masters. It passed through many hands of those who held themselves apart from the toiling masses- until I bought it at a market outside of Oaxaca.
Now a beautiful woman was rolling it over in her hands. When she first came to my apartment the box of rocks was the first thing she noticed. I brushed it off as a passing interest in geology, and joked that my dad was part raccoon- I always went for shiny things.
She seemed transfixed. The mystery of the stone seemed to capture her too. There was something about it that caught people. It caught my eye in Oaxaca, it caught her in my apartment in Buenos Aires.
She looked up at me and asked the stone’s story. I could only give it an outline. A few slides of pictures for a very incomplete story.
“What are you going to do with it?” She asked.
“No idea really,” I confessed. “I guess I just liked the look of it. I’ve always thought turquoise and jade were particularly beautiful. Though as a good son of the new world, albeit a son of the conquerors, not the subjugated, I’ve always preferred turquoise. I always wanted a piece of it, something small.”
“I like that.” She said smiling. “Maybe you can break it up into jewelry, make a ring out of it or something.”
“I would,” I sighed, “but it’s made it this far in one piece, who am I to break it up? If it survived the Spanish, it would be a shame to fall to a hammer in a placid time.”
“But would you break it up, and make rings from its beautiful form? If you did, you could make two. You know,” she smiled, “one for you and one for me.”
“Well, perhaps if it had to be broken sometime, that is a worthy reason.”
“I think,” she said pensively, “if the Mayan who pulled it from the ground, and the stonemason who made it shine knew what we did with it they would be happy. “
“I think they would too.”