Instant gold in life's cracks

Posted by Kenetha Stanton on

Gold-quartz hydrothermal vein (Geraldton, Ontario, Canada)
Image credit: ©2013 James St. John, Flickr | CC-BY


Geology fascinates me. Perhaps that's part of why I love working with stone so much in my kintsugi work.

Given this fascination, it's no surprise that a recent report about gold veins forming almost instantaneously along "fault jogs" in rock during earthquakes captured my attention. This sounds like kintsugi happening naturally in the earth!

These "fault jogs" are the cracks that connect the main fault lines, running sideways to them in zigzag patterns. While the rock on either side of the main fault lines slide against one another during an earthquake, these fault jogs just crack open, forming small gaps.

These openings cause extreme pressure drops that allow minerals in the liquids that normally flow through these rocks to crystallize out nearly instantaneously, and this is how these gold veins are formed.

Instantaneous gold

I've written before about how the gold formation in a traditional kintsugi repair takes a long time and how the repair process often requires multiple rounds of repair before it is done well, so this instantaneous formation of gold during an earthquake seems like a very different thing.

If we think of gold formation as an outcome of our healing, how can it appear during the cracking open itself?

This seems like a contradiction, and yet I can also see how this too mirrors my own experience during times of brokenness.

There are times when life seems to be falling apart and qualities that I had no idea that I possessed seem to appear out of nowhere to carry me through. I discover that I have more strength or more resilience or better friends or a wider support network than I thought I did in the midst of the challenges.

Just like with the gold in liquid form in the rock that solidifies in an instant when the rock cracks open, these qualities were there inside me all along, but it was only when the right circumstances appeared that they showed themselves in solid form.

Yes, there is often still a need for more repair to happen over time as healing takes place, and there is more gold that is formed during that slow healing process. But I will still have this immediate gold of the qualities or support that showed themselves quickly to carry me through that time of healing.

I love it when nature provides illustrations and examples as metaphors of my own experience of life to help me see it more clearly and in fresh, new ways.

Questions to ponder

What is an example of instantaneous gold that may have appeared in your life even as the cracks themselves were forming? It could be personal qualities you didn't realize you had or supportive relationships that showed their value more clearly in that moment.

How does this image from geology help you look for gold in new ways in your experiences?

Does this geological process ring true for your own experience in times of feeling broken open?


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