Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
A Courtly Hat
by Jean Wong
I once bought a crystal ball on sale in Chinatown. I took it home and placed it atop my TV. It makes a courtly hat to my black boxed nemesis. While my TV sputters and squawks, squandering time, the crystal ball quietly rests with artless simplicity and subtle appeal. Though it has the reputation of having fortune telling properties, its provenance expands far beyond such fanciful endeavors.
The size of an orange, the crystal ball has a surprisingly settled weight when held in the palm of my hand. Curiously, if you look through it, you will see that any object behind it becomes inverted. As long as there is light, a little beam or two shines within. Sometimes a shadow arcs through its glass or dust dances on its surface. A fine halo delineates its borders.
The shape of this circular orb is contained and complete. It is a perfect world unto itself with no beginning and no end. Yet this enclosed entirety is also transparent. I am lured to gaze within as my awareness is pulled by its limitless field. I find myself beckoned beyond its ordinary encirclement into infinite spaciousness.
Surrounded by my favorite paintings, books, and plants, the crystal ball gleams with mystery, as it sits in balanced timelessness and spherical grace.
Because Jean Wong was born in Honolulu, many of her works are rich in the traditions and culture of the Chinese in Hawaii. Her work has appeared in Vintage Voices, and one of her poems has been set to music and played on the international stage.
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