Pearls of Mother

Pearls of mother: Carol Powers sobs as she views her mother's pearls in the bedroom of her fire-gutted home in Oakridge Mobile Home Park, Los Angeles. Firefighter Dustin Hurwitz helps her look for salvageable items. (Reed Saxon / AP)





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Discovering a Pearl of Great Price

by Dr. Charles DeVane Jr.

The parable in verses 45-46 is a story of a discovered pearl. Pearls were a new and valuable commodity in Jesus' day. Many men made it their ambition to discover them. None of them came cheap, but certainly some pearls were worth more than others.

A merchant makes it his business to make a living off of pearls. He wheels and deals, schemes and dreams, and trades for decades to get a collection of pearls. Yet he yearns for the perfect pearl. One day his search comes to an end. There it is, the pearl of great price, the pearl that requires him to give up all other pearls in order to obtain it. Then, the most important transaction of his life is made.

This parable is not told to give advice on investments. This parable tells a simple story. When you finally find what you've always wanted, you gladly give up everything else to get it.

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Chinese Pearl Art

Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival, the Song Dynasty (960-1279) painting and na-tional treasure is reproduced with pearly luster by Beijing's Liu Fengxin. Over 3 million colored beads were used to create the world's largest beaded picture, qualifying it to enter the Guinness Book of World Records on November 28.

This version of Riverside Scene measures 28 meters in length and 1.1 meters wide. Liu carefully painted each of the 0.3 mm diameter Hainan Province artificial pearls one of 205 different colors.

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'String of Pearls' has Strong Characters

by Holly Johnson

The idea of a single precious object being passed from one person to another on a quixotic journey follows a plot device as old as fairy tales. In "A String of Pearls," currently at Artists Repertory Theatre, playwright Michele Lowe uses a highly feminine item, a pearl necklace, to trace the lives of women of different ages and socio-economic backgrounds.

They all share a passion for the necklace for various reasons, as the chain of events unfold, and the pearls connect their lives. Vana O'Brien, Amaya Villazan, Sarah Lucht and Elizabeth Huffman sketch 27 different characters over 35 years, and do a crystal clear job of delineation, as the pearls follow a circular route, predictably but satisfyingly ending up with the original owner.

Part fantasy, part straight drama, the contemplative 90-minute play serves primarily as a paean to women, whether they're getting married, battling cancer, chasing careers or looking for love. And in deference to the pearl and its oyster, water imagery fills the play. Women meet to swim together at a Midwestern lake or at a New York swimming pool. The moon, a symbol of the pearl and of feminine power, gleams over the water in Jeff Seats' inviting, multi-purpose set.

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New Hydrangea, 'Queen of Pearls'

by Kym Pokorny
(The Oregonian)

Green flowers don't do much for me. Before hellebore breeding began to produce colorful flowers, I didn't really like them. To be honest, I never considered putting them in my garden, even though they grow in dry shade.

But even I have to admit this new hydrangea, 'Queen of Pearls,' is pretty cool. Maybe it's because of how dark the green is and how the white shows it off. The blossom changes from white to green and white to white again and then to green.

It's a little odd that I have so many hydrangeas since unusual plants are most often what I choose. But I've got a Japanese maple that takes up about a quarter of my back garden. Underneath, the former owners spread very thick, woven landscape cloth that resists the most fervid attempts to cut through it.

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Pearls Before Breakfast

by Gene Weingarten

"He emerged from the metro at the L'Enfant Plaza station and positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.

"It was 7:51 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, the middle of the morning rush hour. In the next 43 minutes, as the violinist performed six classical pieces, 1,097 people passed by. Almost all of them were on the way to work, which meant, for almost all of them, a government job. L'Enfant Plaza is at the nucleus of federal Washington, and these were mostly mid-level bureaucrats with those indeterminate, oddly fungible titles: policy analyst, project manager, budget officer, specialist, facilitator, consultant."

Read more of this Pulitzer Prize winning story here.

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String of Pearls Play

by Kari
(Muscatine, Iowa)

A pearl necklace changes hands among a series of women in String of Pearls, Michele Lowe's play that opened off-Broadway in 2004 and is getting its San Diego premiere at the North Coast Repertory Theatre.

The necklace's journey begins in 1969 when it's bought as a gift. Over the next 38 years, the pearls are passed between generations, stolen, forgotten, and, in a fairy-tale touch, thrown into a river and discovered in the belly of a fish.

The real pearls, of course, are the women whose lives the necklace touches.



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Michele Lowe’s Production "String of Pearls"

by BRENDAN FITZGERALD
(c-ville.com)

Pearls are born out of irritants, things we’d rather do without. Some meddling molecule works its way into an oyster and makes a mess of things, and so the oyster does what any respectable venue ought to: It seals the intruder off, locks it up and throws away the key.

In large part, Live Arts seems to’ve done the same with Mother Courage and Her Children following a slightly troubled production of an admittedly demanding play—packed it up and shipped it out. But it’s worth revisiting Mother Courage herself, Live Arts co-founder Francine Smith, who as an actor ingested the tension surrounding Courage and, as director, strung together a fairly brilliant production of Michele Lowe’s String of Pearls.

Lowe’s script runs a 50-year circle around a widow named Beth, a meek woman well into her 70s who is eager to pass along the namesake necklace to her engaged granddaughter, Amy.

Read entire review here.

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The Girl with the Pearls - a Painting

by Mary Abbe, Star Tribune


The famous "Pignatelli pearls" were a wedding gift from her husband, Casimir Pignatelli, Comte d'Egmont, an immensely wealthy aristocrat, army general and courtier. When he married Septimanie in 1755, he was 29 and a widower with a 5-year-old daughter. He outlived her by 28 years.

Her fashionable "Spanish costume" was so called because of its raised collar, pearl swags and slashed and beribboned sleeves. Her guitar reinforced the painting's Spanish themes and honored her husband, a grandee of Spain who often entertained Spanish diplomats. Silver Spanish lace decorates the pillow under her arm.

Famous for her beauty, charisma and intellect, Septimanie d'Egmont Pignatelli (1740-73) was educated in music, art, history, languages and literature at a Benedictine convent in Normandy. When she was 15, her father, the Duc de Richelieu -- a wealthy rake and powerful confidant of King Louis XV -- arranged her marriage to one of the richest young men at the court of Louis XV. She was welcomed into the diplomatic set at Versailles and the intellectual and artistic salons of Paris. She died childless at 33 of tuberculosis.

Read entire article and see the painting: "The Girl with the Pearls" here.

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Pearls shape tone of painting in newest art series piece

by Matthew D’Ippolito

Kate Scott's "Grandma's Pearls" -- an oil painting depicting a pair of hands, extending from the dark and holding a string of pearls spelling out "good for you" -- is the latest painting featured in the "Art on the Move" series.

The pearls were used to add a different angle to the phrase, the meaning of which depends heavily on its tone, Scott (senior-art) said.

"It is rare for that phrase to sound sincere," she said.

The inspiration for the painting -- which will be on display through Feb. 26 in the West Halls Cultural Lounge, Room 125 Waring Commons -- came while playing with a string of pearls, Scott said. She thought the pearls looked elegant hanging from her hands.

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"Stringing Pearls" of Scriptiure Together

by Pastor Brent Emery

If you and I are going to really understand the Apostolic Scripture, we must always be thinking in terms of the Hebrew Scripture.

One of the Hebraic features we often see in the Apostolic Scripture is what I call “textual fusing,” or what the rabbis of the past called “stringing pearls.” The stringing of pearls occurs when a Gospel writer takes two or more verses from the Hebrew Scripture and “fuses” them, or “strings” them, to make a new verse.

When the writer does this, he expects his audience to know that this has happened without telling them overtly what he has done. This fusing of texts is designed to show various texts, which may initially seem unrelated, are in fact meant to be viewed as dealing with the same idea.

This “stringing pearls” takes phrases from different sections of Hebrew Scripture and fuses them to make a point that might otherwise have been missed without seeing these phrases united.

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