Friday, June 29, 2007

The open road

She twisted her hair into a knot, slipped it down the back of her jacket, and pushed her helmet low over her face. She balanced on the booted toe of her left foot, and pressed down hard with her right foot to start the old bike. It obligingly roared to life, and she grinned. They'd been through a lot together; they'd taken good care of each other, and they were both still running after more than a quarter-century of roads.

She knew it was annoying to the cars behind her, but she didn't care right now. She knew every twist and turn of this road, and she wanted no one in front of her, so she deliberately held back, going as slowly as she could on the straightaway. And then . . . magic. She opened the throttle, leaned into the curves, and saw the road just inches from her face as she flew up the mountain.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, sterling silver, lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations, freshwater pearls, citrine, glass beads. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Spread your wings

It wasn't the work she minded, she'd always believed that work was a good thing. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes from a good day's work; she'd always loved tidying up her desk at the end of the day, filing a few stray papers; returning the last emails, and scheduling tomorrow's calls.

No, it wasn't the work.

It was the atmosphere of the place. She'd joined this company a few weeks after it was started, and had enjoyed watching it grow and become successful. But somewhere along the way, things had changed. She remembered staff meetings where they'd gleefully posted pins in a map to represent new installations; the champagne brunches to mark milestones reached ahead of schedule. But now, the owner had lost all joy in their success; he was afraid of losing what they'd created.

He haunted the halls, listening to conversations, stirring up suspicions, upsetting the kids in the mailroom with his tantrums. Senior people began to disappear; one at a time at first, and then in droves. She didn't want to leave the nest; she wanted things to be the way they were, even as she carried the last box to her car.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, opal, white sapphire. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

don't make waves

The water was soft and cool as it swirled around her ankles; she waited for it to recede, pulling the sand from under her feet as it did. She sank imperceptibly lower, and waited again, this time for the water to return. The next wave was curling, green and blue as she squinted into the sun; she watched it break, churning white, and speed toward her. For one irrational moment, she thought the water would be deep when it reached her; deep enough, perhaps, to knock her knees out from under her and cause her to slip backwards into the sea as it returned back from whence it came. But it barely grazed the sand, barely wet her ankles, barely touched her at all; yet she sank deeper into the sand as it pulled the earth out from under her.

If she stayed here all day, how deep would she sink? Would the tide rise, and swamp her? Or was it already at its highest, and, as it went out, would she be left in the sand to dry like ropes of kelp?

She did not have the patience to find out. She kicked her toes free from the sand and walked on, skirting the waves, not wanting to know.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, hessonite garnet. Hand fabricated.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Alpha Kitty

Katerina made partner when she was 27; six weeks later she found the perfect Lancaster Gate flat and moved in. She had high ceilings, blonde wood floors, and a small terrace where she would take her coffee on fine mornings. She ordered ivory bridal satin for her draperies, and her duvet was custom made from the palest apricot silk. Her linens were soft and caressed her skin; her bath was her own private spa.

She loved her flat; not that she was actually there very often, but she loved the thought of it as she flew from New York (great shopping, fab prices) to Tokyo (great shopping, horrid prices); Fedexing her dirty clothes back to London when business cancelled her return and pushed her on to new crises. She could spin out presentations overnight; she was famous for getting the most out of the powerpoint jockeys who fell under her dominion; no matter if they had hours or weeks, she got the job done.

And then she was off again, the comfort of her flat keeping her sane.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, cubic zirconia. Hand fabricated.

Friday, June 15, 2007


She was born in Brooklyn, and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. If you'd asked, she'd have told you that the subway ran in her veins; that the wind blowing down the canyons of Manhattan streets was as close to nature as she'd ever wanted to be. But that was before she set foot on the island, before she heard the coqui call to her soul, before she knew she was Puerto Rican. She learned to stroll on the island; to laugh loud and long; to linger over her coffee; and to dance: oh, how she danced when she was Puerto Rican.

She's back home now; she's Nuyorican again. She's wearing her tailored suits, stockings and Jimmy Choos as she hurries from the subway to her office and back again in the cold Manhattan mornings and evenings. But the island keeps her warm, the coqui sings her to sleep, and she knows who she wants to be.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork (unknown artist), corundum. Hand fabricated.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Under the Arbor

He'd promised to be here ages ago; how long could she reasonably sit in the arbor and pretend to sketch before someone came looking for her and discovered that her pages were blank? She quickly made a few marks on a page; it was no good, she really didn't like drawing and everyone knew it. At least the arbor was shady and cool; she leaned back and closed her eyes. If anyone did come by, it would look as though she had fallen asleep.

Was that a spider? She quickly opened her eyes and rearranged her skirt, inspecting it for insects. That was the problem with the outdoors: bugs. One never knew what would crawl up from the ground and secret itself in her clothes. She quickly got up and inspected the perennial beds; she wished that she had brought a basket and a knife with her to cut a few stems for her room.

She took one last turn under the arbor; the grapes were not ripe, it was time to leave.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Donna Millard, freshwater pearls. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


There was a wildness in her that no one understood. The pressure would build up and she'd have to do something to release it; she couldn't explain it, wouldn't take the time to think about it, didn't dare try to stop it once it started. It was the only thing that had ever worked; it was the only way she knew to be herself.

She alternated between pacing wildly and staring at the wall. She was disappearing in here; soon there would be nothing left of her. She'd tried to comply, tried to wait them out, but they were not as trusting as they had been. They wanted change, and if she changed, she knew she was lost. Control was her only weapon.

"Believe," her mother whispered into her heart, "let go."

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Donna Millard, tourmaline. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


The sky was grey and misty, the sun would be up in oh, about an hour or so, but I couldn't wait. If I didn't go now, I would never go. I grabbed a carrot and Dusty’s bridle from the rack, stuck a hoof pick in my back pocket, and ducked between the wires of the fence. The horses made early morning sounds as I approached; Dusty lifted her head in greeting and snuffled in my hand for her carrot. I picked her hooves while I waited for her to finish chewing, and then slipped the bit in her mouth.

Grabbing a handful of mane in my left hand, I stepped back, tossed my right leg over her back, and, mid-flight, grounded myself with my right hand on her withers; a single smooth motion that had taken so much practice to learn, but now came easily and gracefully to me. I nudged her sides with my heels and we ambled off towards the gate. Another move that had required practice but was now second nature: she sidled up to it, I opened it, we went through, and Dusty swung her backside around so that I could close the gate.

And then we ran, because our lives depended on it.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, turquoise, ostrich egg shell, onyx. Hand fabricated.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Baby Blue

She was seventeen in 1959, the year her daddy bought her a brand new, baby blue, Buick Electra convertible. She felt like Brigitte Bardot when she slipped on her sunglasses and slid behind the wheel; she would have loved to let the wind tousle her hair, but Brigitte had a team of hairdressers waiting for her at the end of her ride, and Caroline didn’t. So she covered her hair with a scarf, tied it around her neck, and comforted herself with the thought that she looked very sophisticated and mysterious. A quick check in the rear view mirror confirmed her assessment of herself; she freshened up her lipstick and drove off.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, tourquoise. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Desert Blooms

That first summer in the desert liked to have killed me. The hot, dry air sucked all the moisture right out of my body; I was as light and thin as a piece of tissue paper. I feared I would blow away at the slightest breeze, but there wasn't any to test that theory. From the road, the desert looks as wide and easy to read as an open book; on foot, the words are sharp little ridges of rock, twisting and curving around canyons of sand that shift and steal away what few landmarks there are. I learned to place myself in time and space with every step, lest my bones join the small animal ones that litter the ground, bleached and preserved, lost to eternity.

In autumn, I learned that I was made of sterner stuff. I leaned into the hot dry winds that swept through the arroyos and scoured them into new shapes; the very precariousness of my position kept me upright. As the winter winds turned colder, I leaned harder. They boxed my ears and made them ache; the burning of my ears was the only warmth left in the world. At last, the rains came. They silenced the wind, coming down so hard that the water bounced back off the face of the desert, even as she frantically sucked it in. Water soaked into her pores, filled her wrinkles, and overran them in raging rivers in the space of a few hours.

When the rains stopped, the turbulent waters gave way to slow moving reddish-brown streams, and then dried up altogether, leaving nothing but cracked earth where they had been. As she assimilated it, a fine green film began to spread across the desert, swirling here and there, and the tiniest of flowers sparkled like gold dust. The air was soft and easy to breathe. We were blooming.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Gold filled, lampwork by Glass & Splinters Lampwork, freshwater pearls, vermeil. Hand fabricated.

Friday, June 1, 2007



She never sleeps at night, she listens for the geese:
Like reckless children slipping out of bed they call
"Come play!" she turns her face back to the wall
but never sleeps; she never sleeps, she never sleeps at all

they call for her, these large, ungainly birds - in flight,
out on the lake - they mother her across the miles
they plead with her to sleep, to rest awhile
their wings beat reconcile, beat reconcile, beat reconcile

and her reply curves like a smile across the moon
as heavy as her birds, as certain as her nights:
the summer days are losing all their light
she sees her fall in flight - she knows - she sees her fall in flight.

© Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Donna Millard, hessonite garnets, andalusite, citrine. Hand fabricated.