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  • Writer's pictureJae Hodges

Nor Cast Your Pearls Before Swine

Knowledge and courage, like pearls cast before swine, should not be wasted on those who cannot or will not appreciate it. In my book, The Rose and the Whip (p267), Lidia knew this and looked at the birth of her first daughter as her redemption. Margritt, meaning pearl, a symbol of perfection and incorruptibility, was born one year after Lidia suffered her punishment. "We named her Margritt for she was our pearl, a symbol of the precious value of truth we held forth through all the deception, through all the suffering. Like dogs and swine, these men who would be corrupt and profane and sensual, who would not know the value of the Gospel they preached, might try to trample us down. But we would not put our pearl before them, we would not give them cause to tread on her. We would not let them tear us further apart."

My grandmother left me all her pearls. I remember once, in Italy, she decided to play hooky from the tourist traps, and we spent the day on the Ponte Vecchio searching for just the right string of pearls. I don't remember which of the many strings I now have was that one, so they all by default represent the memory of that day. Pearls came up naturally in Lidia's story: her daughter's name, the symbolism, the Bible verse at Matthew 7:6. So it was also natural for me to use these pearls in my ARTifact project. I wanted to show them spilling out, but not wasted. The etched crystal pedestal compote/candy dish was made by Heisey. The trademark "H within a diamond" was registered in late 1901, and colored glass became the rage after the original Heisey died in 1922. So this puts this piece in that range, and that means initially in the hands of my great-grandparents. Which family line I'll never know.

Hernando, Florida, November 2021

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