I spent the weekend eating great food, laughing, talking, and sitting in front of a crackling fire with my friends Peter and Kay Wild in their rustic home in Newtown, Connecticut. And it wasn’t until I got home that I realized I might have been briefly insane.
Despite the fact that, a long time ago, I spent a year publicly naked — in front of a roomful of artists and people pretending to be artists at the Art Students League; despite doing a brief topless scene in a movie — because it was a good movie with people I trusted; despite the fact that I’m really not a prude, I am deeply modest in my everyday life. I do not own one low-cut piece of clothing; I prefer long dresses and loose-fitting jeans; and since I’m not fond of men who talk to women’s chests, I do nothing to encourage that focus. So my sudden impulse to throw back my head, stick out my bosom, and insist on displaying my décolletage for a photograph was aberrant behavior. Was I insane … or the opposite?
My hostess for the weekend, Kay Wild, is a jewelry designer. Or more accurately, she is an artist and healer who happens to love, commune with, and, by her own admission, take directions from stones. Sometimes the stones insist on becoming crescent-shaped amethyst moons on bead chains with 18-carot gold clasps — the piece I blame for my anomalous bosom behavior.
It really wasn’t my fault. One minute Kay was displaying her wares — huge, chunky, rutilated quartz pendants that begged to be squeezed and caressed; rose, green, lemon citrine, and milky quartz hearts that seemed to be pulse with energy; sensual dewdrop forms and quasi-crosses (Kay calls these “elements”) that were so smooth and warm they felt like good Mother Earth gently but firmly collecting her errant child home for supper. These pieces were hot, feminine, elegant, and mesmerizing.
I tried so hard to be good. When Kay first put the pieces in front of me, I sat on my hands, suppressing the impulse to touch. “Don’t be silly,” said Kay, “they want to be touched.” And given permission, I couldn’t stop. I touched and caressed, held and squeezed. It was all I could do not to eat the gems.
“Do you want to try one on?” asked Kay, and my hand shot out for the amethyst. “My birthstone,” I said, trying to explain my ardor — but whatever was going on inside me was way beyond such a silly explanation.
As Kay draped the purple beads with a heavy crescent moon-drop pendant around my neck and secured the clasp, there were no words for the explosion inside me. All I know is suddenly I was pulling down the neckline of my T-shirt, insisting that Peter photograph the stones on my décolletage. I felt no shame, but also no ego. There was nothing exhibitionist about my gesture. I was merely beautiful and wished to share it with the camera and company.
Later in the weekend, I apologized and explained that, “I was just playing.” But when I got home, it hit me: This was not child’s play or an actress pretending. This was what it feels like to be unconditionally happy with my self, my body, and my womanhood.
Kay Wild can wax poetic about the gems — what they say to her, the artisans who craft her designs, and how it took four years to find the right people. She can tell you the archeological history of stones and the reasons for the gold work and stone finishes. She can expound on the science, explaining that since Earth is 80 percent quartz, a material that has been proven to have memory (computer chips) and the capacity to magnify energy, quartz jewelry affects the way you feel.
Frankly, I don’t care. All I know is that, for a few minutes, I felt what it would feel like to totally, unashamedly inhabit Me.
To learn more and have your own experience, see KayWild.com. Kay does trunk shows, private sales, and makes pieces to order. (They are quite pricey, but you get to choose your own stones.)