Saturday, July 12, 2008

Glass Beads

I bought a glass bead necklace on my trip to Puri over fifteen years ago. It had four strands of tiny red, blue, green, orange, yellow, black and white beads sewn with cotton twine. Nothing fancy but it but the combination of color and the lack of a repeating pattern made it a versatile piece of jewelry. I could wear it with a number of outfits, pair it with metal or bead earrings not to mention glass bangles. Since then its always traveled with me.

The twine frayed over time and a couple of years ago it finally snapped. I tried to mend it but it was too big a project to undertake with thousands of little beads to string together. There was never enough time, never enough motivation. The remains of the necklace and the beads lay in a bowl in one of the kitchen cabinets.

A few weekends ago, I thought I'd give the necklace project a go -mainly to give J something to do. She loves helping me with whatever I am doing and this was definitely a lot more fun than cleaning the bathrooms. There were tiny silver and gold colored beads from another necklace a friend had given me a few years ago. This one came from San Francisco and dates back to the 60s or 70s. She had picked it up from a thrift store on a whim and never found the right outfit to pair it with. I wore it once and it snapped.

So my beads from Puri met the unrelated beads from California to make this beautiful strand of colorful beads, arranged in completely random order. I got back my favorite necklace with a touch of new to it. The gold and silver beads add a little drama to what had been an understated chain of beads. It also gives it a new life that is no longer tied to old memories some too painful to remember others too hard to forget. It is also special because J and her friends helped me sort through the beads.

When I tried it on, I remembered the first time I had worn it so many years ago. It was a time when the future and "my life" was a full of possibility and potential. Anything could happen. A lot has happened since that time but a lot more is yet to come. Maybe in another fifteen or twenty years, this necklace with have another incarnation, beads from other places, other friendships may be strung together it give it a different look and character.

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