No need to cast stones, not this type anyway| Juliana Chen 14 Aug 2019
"Feelings are more dangerous than ideas, because they aren't susceptible to rational evaluation. They grow quietly, spreading underground, and erupt suddenly, all over the place."
As our regular gatherings over high tea began to switch to a virtual mode in view of incessant street violence and flash mobs, the above quote by British musician and visual artist Brian Eno was cited as an apt depiction of the seeds of discontent devouring our city.
While thankful for modern technology that enabled us to overcome traffic disruptions and other risk factors to air our frustration among close friends, many feared that the present haphazard arrangements might not be sustainable.
Among those who had the most vexatious experience was one whose 92-year-old father, living alone in Wong Tai Sin, had a medical appointment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital scheduled for the day of territory-wide strikes and disturbances.
The elderly gentleman is on Warfarin for his cardiovascular condition and must undergo regular blood tests to monitor the effectiveness of the medication.
After all suggestions to beat possible disruptions, including setting off at 6.30am from his Mid-Levels home, were rejected by his father, my friend resorted to rescheduling the appointment.
He started calling the hospital hotline at 8.55am that Monday and got through after three hours.
Fortunately, the medical check was completed on Wednesday without any untoward event.
Another friend almost "rubbed shoulders" with protesters in Sham Shui Po last Sunday after making offerings to her ancestors at a temple in the neighborhood to tie in with the "Hungry Ghosts Festival."
Shopkeepers selling offerings said business had been slow this year and stray spirits from the underworld would probably be disappointed since such roadside rituals were also affected by the turmoil.
In an attempt to lift our dejected mood, the crystallographer in our group recommends the use of banded jasper to restore stability and balance.
Exuding a quiet power that grounds positive energy, this semi-precious gem is noted for its calming influence and support during times of stress.
Apart from bringing a sense of security, banded jasper reinforces determination.
It is therefore a talisman to guard against violence.
Pinky Szeto, CEO of Starlite Jewellery, said a collection of banded jasper carved into various artistic patterns by talented craftsman 30 years ago has just surfaced on the gem market.
She added that some pieces, which were interlaced with malachite and lapis lazuli, had been used by brands such as Cartier in pendants and watches decades ago.
Retired senior civil servant Juliana Chen is a passionate crystal collector who shares the good things in life