Nacre is also known as mother-of-pearl.
It is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs. It is also what makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong, resilient, and lustrous.
Nacre is secreted by molluscs. The nacre is continuously deposited onto the inner surface of the shell, turning it opalescent. The layers of nacre smooth the inner shell surface and help defend the soft tissues of the mollusc against parasites and damaging debris. It entombs abrasive debris in successive layers of nacre, forming either a blister pearl attached to the interior of the shell or a free pearl. The process continues as long as the mollusc lives.
By itself, Nacre is inexpensive, but the quality of nacre on a pearl can significantly alter its value.
You also produce your own distinct brand of Nacre. There is something in you that is strong and resilient which has the ability to miraculously turn lacerating irritants into glowing pearls. The process doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen without initial discomfort.
We are like the herb which flourisheth most when trampled upon.
~ Walter Scott
New adversity will chafe at you; it will rub, slash and shred; it will hurt. But slowly, as you pour one layer of Nacre after another over it, the pain will disappear. Its sharp edges will hurt no more. Instead of an unpleasant, undesirable thing, you will have a beautiful pearl to show off.
The oyster doesn’t reject the debris that finds its way inside the shell. It doesn’t waste time lamenting, complaining and blaming the universe. It knows that there will come times when a tiny grain of sand will enter its shell—for no reason at all. It knows that the sand wasn’t introduced in its shell by the malevolent forces of the universe, out to get it. It knows that as long as it lives in the ocean, grains of sand and other debris will surely find their way inside its fortress and cause it pain and discomfort.
All it needs do is to bear the discomfort for some time. It tries to move minimally so that its soft tissues are damaged as little as possible. It begins to secrete Nacre to coat the sand particle, rounding off its lacerating edges, mellowing its abrasiveness.
And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.
~ Haruki Murakami
Pearls are a product of chance. They are born of adversity and nurtured in pain. Their iridescent glow becomes the light of your inner wisdom, guiding your steps—and sometimes also the steps of fellow your travellers—as you travel to your North Star.
Fruitless laments or pearls; Nacre or tears?
Sweet are the uses of adversity
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
~ William Shakespeare