I was never much of a jewelry person, though lately I’ve been tuned to the accessories that people choose to wear. These little details give away all kinds of information about someone, as well as the people surrounding them. The thick silver wedding band that I wear on my right ring finger is my grandmother’s, from her second marriage. I don’t wear it because that marriage was so admirable, but because when I think of my grandmother I think of her hands: soft, heavily veined, with perfectly manicured nails and several thick rings decorating her fingers. She collected these rings over a (very difficult) lifetime, and they speak volumes about where she’d been, who she’d been with, and how she wore these memories on her body.
Now that I wear two rings, I’m well on my own way to this sort of collection. And I think very carefully about jewelry, both when I buy it and when I receive it as a gift. Most of it sits in a small silver box at the foot of my bed, and never gets worn – though I do open the box and look at the pieces almost daily.
I wonder – would a piece of fabric jewelry survive either my neglect or my daily attention? Would it just turn to dust after a few years? Maybe I’ll find out.