This is the only “jewelry” I wear.
It has a funny history actually. A friend of mine and I got together one day. We were all about “embracing” it. We made these little bracelets to remind ourselves to do that.
Fast forward to late last year. While walking around the lake at Baker Park (I’m sure it has an actual name other than that lake at Baker Park but fobbed if I know it—Lake Culler, maybe?) with another friend in deep discussion of our joblessness and other troubles, we bandied our thoughts about more than accepting, but embracing our situations. She was quite taken with the idea and so I presented her this bracelet. I pretty much forgot about the bracelet for the entire next year.
Little did I know that there would be much in the intervening year’s time would throw me into loss, loss, and more loss. While struggling to keep a few dollars in the door by contract employment and doing the child care so my single parent daughter can get a career launched rather than have it founder, I almost didn’t have time to mourn the very dear friends who drifted out of my life (including one who laughed and crafted and wore the other “embrace-lit”–now if that’s not irony….) and my beloved Jeep (my Toy) that I had to sell as a hedge for continued solvency. Those were the big things; other collateral damages have occurred.
When we mourn, it’s so easy for our judgments of “should” and “ought” to slip into the vocabulary and, if Eckhart Tolle is correct, prove that we are verifiably insane. He should have understood; she shouldn’t have left. I ought to have…and on and on it goes and with each judgment of what would happen if I were Queen of the Known Universe, is another hash mark to my mental instability. Of course he shouldn’t understand, because he didn’t. I know she should have left because she did. I oughtn’t have my Jeep to toy around in because I don’t.
When we make these pronouncements, we argue with what is. The only sane choice is to accept the situations, which is not the same thing as being resigned to them. And truth be told, acceptance is actually quite the mild breeze compared to embracing that which is.
It is at this point that the bracelet enters, Stage Right. My friend handed it off to my husband when he was lately over there to fix some computer glitch or other. It came back into my possession and back on my left wrist a couple of months ago now. Am I finally to a point of being able to embrace these certain things? I think I was glib last year when speaking of embracing. I think I was talking about acceptance in embracement’s clothing. To accept is a much more passive thing—the dictionary likens it to allowing or receiving. Embracing is to actively draw something or someone to oneself with affection.
So I’m not only to hold at arm’s length, but also to warmly and gladly and even eagerly clasp my losses. I’m to adopt, join with, and take in. The word derives from a word that speaks of two arms. Somehow I get that I’m to be all in, as opposed to simply offering a polite cup of tea. Another word that is related means to set on fire. And so my “embrace-lit” silently reminds that teeth-gritting tolerance and even acceptance are not quite there. We forge on together no longer trying to make sense of my losses, but gathering them close around and loving them.