Tears to Turquoise: Or, Why You Haven't Heard From Me Recently

by Rikki Quintana October 05, 2021

Tears to Turquoise: Or, Why You Haven't Heard From Me Recently


If you're like me, your inbox is probably full every morning when you wake up, and you don't think about who you haven't heard from recently. But from my end, it seems like forever since I sent out an issue of the HoonArts Caravanserai newsletter to the HoonArts community.

I get tired of hearing myself and others say "I've just been so busy . . ." So I try to remember to say, "Life is so full." 

But in the last month, I feel like life has been too full of hard things. My husband had to deal with a health crisis (non-COVID), including 11 hours sitting in an emergency room filled with COVID patients. We've now had to completely revamp his diet, which is a challenge for me. I'm just not Suzy Homemaker!

I'm handling the Oklahoma estates of my aunt and uncle who died recently. That involves a constant stream of tiny and sometimes not so tiny emergencies, dealing with attorneys and real estate agents and estate sale agents and mortgage companies and art appraisers and utility companies, and gates falling off their hinges. And on and on and on . . .

And the sometimes irresistible morbid pull of the news headlines . . . Delta surges and topping the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic in the number of deaths, hurricanes and wildfires and floods, stock market drops, perpetual political divisiveness, and the collapse of Afghanistan and the resulting flood of refugees, and on and on and on. . .

I've found myself in tears many times over the last month, just because it all seems so hard, so uncertain.

And that's not even taking into account the challenges facing HoonArts as a business, and the even more dire challenges facing our artisans. And the need to keep on keeping on with the daily tasks at hand.

One tearful morning, when I couldn't even identify exactly what opened the spigot, I just asked myself, "What makes me smile?" 

And the answer that came was the color turquoise. I immediately thought of the turquoise things in my life and my surroundings that bring me joy, and the tears began to dry up. (There's a lot of turquoise in my life, it turns out!)

That inspired a Google trek through the meaning and symbolism of turquoise.  I concluded that it's no accident that I am drawn to the color. 

It has a rich history and meaning, across many cultures from the East to the Southwestern US where I live. For those of you not familiar with New Mexico or the Native American cultures of the Southwest, turquoise plays a very prominent role in the artistry of our corner of the world. 

During the "Golden Age" of the Persian empire, which extended to Central Asia, turquoise became a key component of architectural masterpieces that still draw tourists today.


Bukhara (left) and Samarkand (right), Tajik/Persian ethnic cities in modern day Uzbekistan, which we will visit in 2022 during our 3 'Stans Textile & Craft Tour.

It turns out that turquoise is a color and symbol that represents cultural bridges and shared humanity, just like the vision of HoonArts.

One thread that runs through it all is turquoise as a symbol of hope and protection. Just knowing that helped me move through that space of tears back into the vision of the future that animates me and HoonArts. 

My vision is that one day, the entire human race will be working together to solve our global problems, while celebrating our beautiful diversity and uniqueness and appreciating our common humanity.

My dream for HoonArts is that, by opening the doorway to Central Asia through the arts, we'll be able to help jumpstart that larger global community.

LEARN MORE. If you'd like to learn more about the history and meaning of turquoise, check out these interesting short articles:

Rikki Quintana
Rikki Quintana


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