Conch Shells

When I’m aware of synchronicity, I always know that I’m noticing something important.

In the last while, I’ve come across three references to people blowing into conch shells for the beautiful sounds that they make: in Chapter Fourteen of Judy Satori’s Sunshine Before the Dawn (I’m currently editing the text for its 2nd edition), in the Bhagavad Gita (scattered throughout from Verse 12 on), and in director Ron Fricke’s stunning movie, Samsara, where two monks blow on their beautifully decorated conch shells on the roof of Thiksey Monastery in Ladakh, India.

I’m currently also poring over Gyorgy Doczi’s 1994 book, The Power of Limits. This gorgeously provocative world of ideas about the harmony between sound, nature in all its forms, colour, and mathematics delves further into the Golden Mean, the Golden Section, the Fibonacci series, and phi than I’ve ever gone before. And my mind is bristling with ideas. Although Doczi refers to abalone, clam, bear’s paw, nautilus, and whelk shells to illustrate that “their harmonious shapes unfold in logarithmic spirals characterized by the golden section’s proportions” (page 53), he actually doesn’t refer to a conch shell. But the divine truth still holds.

Back to the conch shell in the image, discarded home of a giant sea snail. Do you see the many patterns on the shell in the image? The spiraling bumps, the alternating white and orange, the paired black stripes?

When I grew up in Wales and went with my family to some of the beautiful beaches of west Wales (Tenby and Saundersfoot for example), I was always thrilled to find a “good” shell. A “good” shell was one that I could hear the ocean in. Fascinating.

But here, in this synchronicity, three diverse references bring to my attention that not only can I hear the ocean (or the same sound that ocean waves make) when I put a conch shell to my ear, but, by cutting holes in the spire, it becomes a musical instrument for me to blow through, a conch trumpet.

Sound, harmony, colour, design, unique beauty in nature.

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