Sunday, August 06, 2006
"Tell Me About Your Rings..."
"Tell me about your rings..." he said so quietly, staring at my hands and the mismatched collection of meanings displayed there. This stranger, that I had known for only an hour or so curious as to the stories displayed on my fingers. Why did he want to know? What was he looking for? I looked down at my hands through his eyes..."What love story goes untold here?"
Instinctively, I reached up and touched my love beads, old and oiled with the patina of a thousand thoughts, touches, moments. I'll tell you about my rings, sweet stranger, but these trinkets, closest to my heart, that is where the love story lies...at peace....at rest....
For 19 years, this tattered string of leather (oh, it's been reincarnated a few times!) has been tethered to my neck. The three little clay love beads, once a swirling kaliedescope of color, now muted and sepia at best, were sculpted at my kitchen table, late late at night. Paige and I on an endless mission to spread peace and love to the world at large. We wove peace grapevine wreaths in those days , did string paintings of the world at war with peace watercolored across it's face. We believed. If we loved, we hoped, we prayed, we dared.....peace and love would come to all.
For a million moons, only the little love beads, strung like lonesome soldiers, dangled here. The soldered welded Peace symbol was a Sunday afternoon gift from my neighbor, Joe. God bless my Joe. I was hot, and tired, and trudging through knee high grass fighting a lawn mower with an adolescent attitude. I was overwhelmed with life and bills and the endless, never ending,rocky road trip that my life had become. In the blazing Sun, with tears and sweat fighting for first rights on my cheeks, I screamed at the sky above, at the random birds....at the top of my lungs....."I just want Peace!" The raspy choking lawn mower I was sure had camoflouged my impromptu rant. I kicked the dirt and kept mowing.
Joe never explained himself that day. He didn't have to. When I rolled the mower to the gate, he met me in the driveway. The little Peace Symbol still warm in his hands. I touched it. Felt it. He passed it to me. The first trinket to join my love beads. In the weeks to follow, it began to rust and I worried. Joe had sculpted this for me on a hot Sunday afternoon and I wanted to wear it forever. I rubbed it. Never ever took it off. The rust gave up. In the end, peace wins....
There is a tiny little "I love you Mom" charm. I can still see my daughter's eyes, 8 years old and so excited she had to help me unwrap her little gift. I hope that for as long as she lives, she can still see the look in my eyes. Love.
An Italian horn. A gift from a friend when all my good luck spells were broken. When peace was lost. When I had not yet discovered the yellow butterfly of San Marino. She dug it out of her jewelry box. To her, it was the yellow butterfly. To me, it was and always will be, reassurance, a reminder that hope is sometimes all you have....don't ever, ever let go of it.
Four hearts in the shape of a clover. This little one is etched with the markings of sand and time, a little jewel lost to sea and washed up at my feet by the tides. A precious promise from Paige, lost almost immediately, I ached and searched and finally, too many beers later, cried. Not because the little charm was lost forever, but because I wouldn't have it there, to touch, when I needed to remember, to hold real, her thoughts. And so it was meant to be, that when we least expected it, a little glint of silver glittered, and in the miles and miles of salty sand, I reached down and there she was. The mermaids charm.
May our lives be blessed. With simple things.
Peace and love
Love story to Joe in the January archives of www.Justgivemepeace.blogspot.com
Self portrait in love beads and Joe's precious Peace symbol all over the pages of Just Give Me Peace