I was making noodles this afternoon, listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s podcast Cosmic Queries: A Taste of Space. My fascination with the Universe has been growing exponentially each day. They were mentioning diamonds, and the nonchalantly intelligent astrophysicist mentioned that diamonds aren’t even that rare here on earth.
Which made me think about how they say “diamonds are forever” in the wedding industry, and how much money I’ve seen people spend on these little shiny not-so-rare items they wear on their fingers, and how in our society the bigger the better and the bigger the more $$$ we get to let people know we have…
If most diamonds aren’t all that rare, then why have we gotten so caught up and controlled by them? Really, all that happened is the industry created price points and paired them with branding that tells us we’ll be happier and have a more meaningful relationship as we go up the price point ladder.
Much more meaningful and interesting might be a one of a kind meteorite that traveled through the earth’s atmosphere and slammed into the earth, or a vibrant and patterned rock with a fascinating geological history.
Much more meaningful might be a stone from a place you and yours visited together early in your relationship. Maybe its from the place you realized you were in love, or you shared your first kiss, or you first met. Maybe it’s from that park where you had sex behind that tree in the heat of the moment ;). And perhaps you’d have an artisan carve a symbol onto that stone, and you’d attach it to a golden band and wear it on your ring finger as a reminder of what the two of you stand for in each other’s lives and the values and vision you share for one another.
Diamonds are good at protecting their surface and putting scratches in everything it scrapes against. Aside from their angles, they all look the same to the human eye. No flaws, just a bunch of hard lines. …That sounds a little too metophorical in comparison with our Western society full of monogomy to support our sexual shame, or marriages built on abuse and manipulation that look perfect on the outside.
I’m not saying that diamonds aren’t beautiful. Or that they aren’t forever. Or that they can’t mean something incredibly powerful. I think a few decades ago the story of the diamond ring to represent love might have had much more depth to it. What I’m talking about here is the industry of diamonds in our world today, the branding of diamonds and the storyline they influence in our lives, and the social pressures and stories created by how we use these rocks as a form of labeling.
Much better the meteorite. Hands down.
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