Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pearls


     This evening, I was working on a locket with my favorite “shabby” pearls and I pulled the usual plastic box out from under my equally shabby and well loved work table. With the opened box on my lap, I noticed something…I noticed the tangle of various white colored strings and the various stages of decay of the pearls…the different sizes and shades and shapes…and the history that was there in this little cosmos of luminescent orbs.
     I imagined the dinner parties, the funerals, the birthday and retirement parties…strands and strands of pearls lost and then found again with relish…sighs of disbelief as broken strands poured from pale necks and bounced all over tile and marble floors. Pearls broken in tumbles of passion and in fits of rage….strands pulled gently, glowing by candlelight, from suitcases all the way from the shores of Europe and World War, to surprised eyes…and the ones bought with money dumped from piggy banks, saved from allowances and countless lawn mowings, from WoolWorths on a Sunday afternoon in May….
    And finally, I ran my hands through the smooth tangles and mounds, and brought a large handful of pearls to my nose, it was the aroma of them that beckoned my pseudo memory…the scent of night musk and the sweetness of jasmine and White Shoulders and Chanel Number Five…and then the names of the wearers came to mind. Names like Mabel and Pearl and Ida and Rose, Sarah and Adelaide and Joy came to mind; filling my mind with phantom faces of the women that wore them and I wonder whose company they keep now and what their stories were and if their journey was memorable and full of song and hope and passionate living. I wondered if they were remembered with love, and how somehow, by chance, how it came to be that my life has been touched by their presence long after they were no longer a part of this world.
     That is what I want my life to be….like a strand of pearls, broken all over the floor of the world…touching lives in ways I never knew I did, and regarded, by those that knew me, with love…memories of me wafting from minds and mouths like the incredible scent rising from this box of pearls in my lap…thoughts of me, smooth and lasting and glowing in the candlelight of love after the journey of my life comes to an end. Filled with laughter and the tangles of stories told again and again.
     I think that is all anyone can truly hope for. Because, it is my understanding, that is really all there is…the pearls of ourselves we leave behind, and found later in the most unexpected places.