Dear Michael,

I wanted to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks for the unique pendant and necklace you crafted with me, for my wife Moana. Not only did you craft a beautiful piece of jewellery for us, you also captured some wonderful pieces of our story, binding them into this piece.

Moana and I, while sharing very similar values and views on many things, also come from very different backgrounds. We are quite different in many ways. She from NZ, I’m an Aussie. She has a strong grounding in the maori culture, I’m very western. She is the extrovert of the two of us, I’m quite introverted. With all these differences, like all couples, sometimes we find our relationship challenging. Usually this happens when we focus on the friction our differences cause. When we focus rather on celebrating and supporting each other in our differences, and the richness it brings to our lives, wow that is when the real magic happens in our family.

The story of this necklace is quite special. From her past, before she even met me, Moana had been carrying several black pearls that were gifted to her. They have been sitting loose with her other jewellery, a meaningful keepsake of her past. The black pearls in the pendant were hers, symbolic of where she came from and all the special, unique things she has brought into our relationship.

One of the things we have worked hard with together is working the introvert/extrovert mix in our home. As the introvert it recently became clear to me I needed to properly honour my need to recharge, solo time away from the world. This was something we had to work on to make our relationship better.

We experimented by me taking some little adventures at the end of business trips. While many outside our home would not understand how this would work, I always return from these timeouts refreshed. I am more present at home, a better spouse and a better father for my children. I think it is also an excellent example we are setting for our children, an example in finding self-awareness and supporting each other in our family, to be better individually so we can also be better communally. While Moana, extroverted at heart, does not necessarily understand my need for space and silence to reset, she supports me completely and celebrates the better me that returns.

It was on such a recharge that I went on a cultural cruise in Abu Dhabi, learning about the ancient pearl divers of the region. It was on this cruise that I opened an oyster and discovered the white pearl. So in the pendant, the white pearl comes from me and my heart, symbolic of my journey and the unique things that make me better.

Moana’s pearls a symbol of the past. The white pearl a symbol of the present as we enter a phase of our relationship where we are more supportive and understanding of each other than we ever have been.

Overall, the most amazing part of this piece is how beautiful it is, with the disparate and unique parts bound together in common purpose. This is the one part of this piece that is so special. Like our relationship, when we come together in full recognition and celebration of our unique contributions, we create a relationship, home and family that is so special, so much greater than what we’d be on our own.

This is what the necklace does. It brings together our past and present, our differences and hard-won understandings, binding them together in rings of beautiful diamonds which are symbolic of our common values. It is the creation something stunning when looking at the whole, something so much more than the pieces. It just captures our journey and our future together so beautifully.

Thanks so much Michael for the consultations to understand what I was trying to capture, and your artistry in putting it all together. The final piece of jewellery is more stunning than I imagined it would be and Moana certainly loves it more than I hoped.

Sincerely

Damian Papworth

 

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