Exploring the keris blade…

Garrett, I’ve been thinking of you. And your knowledge, the keris blade collection in Hawaii. I’ve thought about the potential of being down there sometime — connecting with you and your wife, to learn more.

And my explorations of the keris has been slow, as well you put it, and long.

I’ve treated it as a progressive examination — and finding anything, finding one thing that is a new discovery — it’s a wondrous thing.

I believe that there have been a series of encounters, that have been rather magical. For one, being guided by village security on the day of silence, Nyepi — a couple of years back, in Bali — to a keris maker’s home, spending time with him and his family, exploring and learning. And of course, without any word of english.

The guard (with the orange coat) shows that typical village security temple coat (either that, or black with poleng). And, one of the keris blades. I’ve rested some of them on a journal cover from my state side writings.

I’d traveled to Yogyakarta — and met with another keris maker there.

My guide explained this to us, in meeting with him — the explanation of the mystery of his work, how long he’d been making blades, the range of his clientele. We’d worked out the idea of having him make one for us. But had insurmountable challenges in trying to get the money to him, his bank. Finally, even working through our guide in Java, it couldn’t happen, it seemed. Then, the earthquakes in Java, the eruption of Merapi. And finally, this elderly master died, before we could connect with him. His son is shown there, in the imagery, as well — I’d presume he’s continued in the steps of his father.

Since then, I’ve acquired some of these blades in different parts of Java and Bali — some from Donna Lum, your friend. Others, from the Kraton in Yogya. Others, elsewhere. Not so many…Maybe 5 or so.

There is much alchemy in the magic of these blades…

It is, as you rightly intone, a matter of learning how to be patient, letting the knowledge come, as timing and the windows to that world would allow…

Warmest, all ways —

TSG | NYC + SEATTLE

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