Tuesday, March 8, 2011

nothing at all to do with elizabeth bishop

They say jewelry is first to jump a sinking ship.

I can count the major moments in my life by the baubles I have lost, trinkets that verily have leapt from my person to form a trail of breadcrumbs back to all my former selves. There are pieces of me in cities and subway cars across this and nine other countries. I've learned to watch them go with grace—no matter the sentimental value.

I used to keep a box of single earrings, a graveyard or an orphanage, I could never quite decide—you know, just in case that lost pearl stud would find its way back home. Now that I've maximized my minimalist existence, I've been even better at goodbyes. An earring is just an earring, and usually it absorbs a world of pain before it bids adieu.

You see, my mama taught me well. Jewelry will often dive off your body in response to major change and/or the close of questionable relationships. Sometimes we mourn the loss of particular people and pieces, but we always overcome.

A couple months ago, I lost my bracelet. The one with the cedar beads I worry like prayers on airplane trips, my good luck charm since August (when I quit adulthood). There one day and gone the next.

I thought the world had taken my bracelet because it had deigned to give me Jack, so I spent the past two months trying to trust the face that launched my thousand ships. Then I spent the past two weeks trying to will a phantom menace from my lady parts. I've done my downward dogs and my trikonasanas and more than once I've wished I could roll on that comforting clump of beads when I emerge from sleep and showers.

Well, kids, as of this morning I am cancer free. And, at approximately four pm, I found the absent bracelet. Tucked into a fold of the suitcase I took out to pack for an imminent weekend away.

Either I'm about to lose something else (please, lord, anything but Jack) or this is the Universe's way of saying: keep your chin up, kid. You're gonna be okay.


Erie Lackawanna said...

You will be more than okay. You will be gloriously fabulous. Or fabulously glorious.

Kathleen said...

Trying to will a phantom menace from your lady parts? That's an image...

Remember when I lost my engagement ring? And found it after eight weeks of my husband telling me that without the ring we were no longer married and he was free? This is why I never wear jewelry.
I'm glad you found the bracelet. That moment of joy is unique.

Anonymous said...

Funny what we pass on, but I do believe in my own myth of the leaping jewelry. I am so glad you found your bracelet, your man and your health. Embrace it all noone deserves more. By the way you continue to astound me with the profound simplicity of your writing. Vanquishing major life crises with prose, perfection.

Phoenix said...

I think you're gonna be okay. Sometimes, weirdly and disconcertingly enough, instead of the usual give and take that the universe usually operates in, the universe just gives and gives. And it's perfectly okay to take those moments when they happen. :)

Congrats on being cancer free. I'm so happy for you!

Bathwater said...

I'm glad to hear you are okay. I never understood giving jewelry to women with a tendency to loose said. They are always appalled at my attitude but are always remiss at explaining were it all goes.