Diamonds and Black Velvet

Diamonds displayed
on black velvet-
the jeweler knows
the importance
of showcasing
such sharp contrasts.
( It is the inky
darkness
that highlights each
gem's inner fire...)
And I recall
that it was years
ago,
in a church
in Denver,
when I first heard
this striking
metaphor.
A barrio youth
spoke of his prison
memoir
mentioning transformation
- the emergence of light
and how the sudden
illumination
is all the more stunning,
- precious
when contrasted
against a background
of utter,
unmerciful
darkness.
I think of loss
of dysfunctional
families
and the resultant
fallout,
the aftershocks...
And I find it amazing
- a paradox
how the same things
that grind us down
can also build us
up-
and how that, which ravages
also strengthens...
It's all about
resilience-
the gist of the saying
" That which doesn't kill..."
All of this
and diamonds
on black velvet-
an image
so visually
exquisite-
a metaphor
unforgettable.

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