Illuminated Leaf


16th Century

(via https://www.flickr.com/photos/125761528@N06/15350413157/ and The Metropolitan Museum)

Poem by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

My heart is like an oyster shell, the Beloved’s phantom is the pearl; now I am no more contained, for this house is filled with Him.

Night split the lip of my soul with the sweetness of His talk; I am surprised at him who says, “Truth is bitter.”

Mortals’ food comes from without, but the lover’s food is from within; he regurgitates and chews, for the lover is like a camel.

Be swift-faring like a peri, denude yourself of your body; nakedness is not allowed to him who has the mange.

Salah al-Din has come to the chase; all the lions are his quarry; that man is his servant who is free from the two worlds.


Penguin´s wing oyster (Pteria penguin)

The penguin’s wing oyster is a species of marine bivalve mollusc in the family Pteriidae, the pearl oysters. It is native to the western and central Indo-Pacific region and is used for the production of cultured pearls. It is found attached by its byssal threads to a number of different substrates but typically to hydroids, at depths of less than about 25 m. Wild oysters of this species seldom contain pearls. 

photo credits: wiki, Bernard DUPONT

This is a chart of what percentages of pearls actually make is to the pearl auctions. Only 55% of the oysters implanted with a pearl seed (nuclei) and put out in the farm actually survive to the stage the pearls are extracted.

Only one third of the total oysters produce marketable pearls, with the other 22% either not covering the nuclei enough, or are shaped abnormally/unevenly to be able to sell.

Taken at Mikimoto Pearl Island, Toba, Japan