Sunday, August 2, 2015

Heart on my wrist

Have you ever heard that expression 'wearing your heart on your sleeve?'

I wear my entire being on my wrist- I have six bracelets that I wear almost like my own personal talisman collection. The only thing missing from my wrist is the day-glo purple rabbit foot I had as a kid for good luck. It might get in the way of everyday activity and would probably be a little gnarly if I actually found it.

I have a charm bracelet from my mama. It has charms reminding me to breathe, a sailboat from my mother-in-law, a turtle, and other gentle reminders that ground me. Every charm comes from a loved one or signifies something that defines me.

I have a silver cuff bracelet. Silver-ish, I should say. It is actually made from contraband phone and electrical wire in Nicaragua, and centered by a cordoba. I bought it from a young teenager on a white sandy beach on my last day there. He made jewelry from whatever he could find, spoke better English than most American teenagers, and melted me. That bracelet is a physical reminder that I can find joy even among the ashes. I was in Nicaragua during one of the most difficult times in my life, when I was absolutely shattered, but I learned that you can feel joy even when your heart is broken. When times are hard, I find myself turning that bracelet, running my fingers around its rough edges, and it reminds me that joy is a choice.

I have a ring of hearts around my wrist. A gift on Mother's Day 2014 from my best friend. I was sad around that time, and those hearts came in that lovely Tiffany blue box and reminded me that I am always loved, even when I am unloveable. It never leaves my wrist, not even when I am in water or dirt. It's indestructible, much like love should be.

A black leather band with the word "Grace" inscribed on a silver piece is often on my wrist. This was given to me when my monkey was hospitalised for weeks. It was my one word prayer, urging her on and forward. She has a matching one with "strength' inscribed on it. I still wear my Grace almost daily, and I occasionally see her wear hers- I think we both gain grace and strength from them, our reminders of walking through the fire and being forged by it.

My father's old Seiko watch. Not a watch that I would have ever bought, but one that I protect fiercely. Black metal, silver, and gold, it takes me to my roots. Daddy had a love of watches, whether he was wearing a Rolex or a Seiko, and I remember him telling me all about how watches worked. He spoke about how a watch made a man. Nonsense, but it probably instilled a love of watches in me, whether I wear a Tag or a Seiko or a cheesy plastic Swatch. This piece is wearing my roots on my wrist- it reminds me of who I am and what I came from.

Lastly, a quirky bracelet that my sister found for me at one of the most famous flea markets in the world. Made of old typewriter keys, it spells out 'WORDCHICK.' When I have writer's block, it reminds me to keep writing. Write one more word. Tell one more story. Spill one more memory. I can almost hear typewriter keys clicking in my head sometimes when I wear my bracelet.

I get comments and compliments from people about my bracelets almost daily. People tell me how fashionable it is to stack random pieces together. This always makes me laugh because I am not trying to be fashionable at all. I do well to remember to wear pants on a daily basis. I wear these pieces stacked up because they are me and my heart. All in a row for the world to see.

Peace and love and wearing your heart on your sleeve. Or wrist. XO

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