While I am in Tucson, I am looking for cool things for people I love. I wish I could find that perfect thing for each and everybody, but what has happened is that when something sings to me that it is meant to go be with someone, then I know to buy it. So of course there are some presents for Ninette and some friends, and also for my family.
I got my Dad a piece of Polish striped flint. According to the website of the guy who sells it:
"Striped flint can be found only in one location in the Earth - in Europe, Poland, on the Vistula River, near the town of Sandomierz. There are old Neolithic mines of the flint that was used to make axes which featured a worship, rite, and magic significa11ce. A man of the Neolithic age never parted with his flint axe even after his death for the striped flint was a talisman for him.
It is a unique stone that resembles rolling waters, and when you knock one against the other, it strikes sparks - the fire. It keeps great energy inside which can be felt even by smelling. This is a stone that joints fire, water, and air in such a unique manner. Components of the striped flint are opal and chalcedony. Its dark trails are of the organic nature.
The stone was carried by ancient Greeks and was placed by them in their beds to protect them against nightmares and any influence of bad energies in such a way. The stone favours the feeling of bonds with the nature, the reinforcement of living forces, and keeps one's countenance. Elixirs of the flint added to bath improve the tension and appearance of the skin and build up the whole system. It demonstrates positive effects when exposed to the face and neck skin, and the skin of the whole body. It regenerates scalded skins. Additionally, it demonstrates rejuvenating features."
I hope never to test the scalded skins part.
It really is cool-looking stuff, and I like the idea of my ancient ancestors carrying it around. Funny, because in the past 6 months or so, I have been frequently thinking about and wishing that I had a flint fire-starting kit for camping and outdoor ritual. It would be amazing to be able to build a fire without matches.
I tried banging the two pieces of flint I bought for my dad and myself together to see if they would cause sparks, but alas, no. I don't think the polished, display-quality ones work quite the same way once their roughness has been smoothed.
But now I am on a mission to learn how to start fires with flint for sure!