Friday, March 4, 2011


As you can well imagine, with all the balls I have in the air these days (go, Magician, go!) I sometimes forget a thing or two.

No, I did not forget to wear clothes to work.

I have, however, forgotten food. Or a water bottle. Or my cell phone.

The other day, it was my jewelry.

For about two years now, I have worn a simple Mobius bangle around my right wrist with the St. Francis Prayer on it. To that, over the last year and a half, I have slowly added a Mobius bangle with the Major Arcana and a Swarovski silver bangle on the right wrist, a hematite & amethyst magnetic bracelet on my left wrist, and finally, on a tarnished chain around my neck, a polished shard of Guatemalan jade.

I always wear these things. Always. I wake up, shower, brush my hair, put on my clothes, put on the jewelry, then eat. My bangles jangle when I type at work, my amethyst bracelet gets stuck to the metal strip on the hanging files when I'm pulling papers, and three or four times a day I'm straightening the chain around my neck because the clasp has slid down to the pendant again.

I'm a believer in healing stones. I like having some on me. When I got to work, groggy and yet still strangely so stressed out that my hair could have stood on end, I set down my water bottles with nary a jingle... and realized my bracelets weren't there.

I felt naked.

Sure, I've gone the majority of my life wearing no jewelry. It took me 25 years to be willing to wear it on a daily basis. I was always afraid that something like jewelry - something you wore every day - defined you somehow. I necklace. A bracelet. A wedding ring. I thought if you were going to wear something every day, it should mean something.

When I saw the St. Francis Prayer Mobius bangle, I knew I'd found that one thing I'd be willing to wear all the time. It defines my life philosophy - a mission statement, if you will. Everything that came after was chosen with the same care. Every time I look down and see those things, it reminds me a little of who I am, and who I want to be.

Not having them on for a whole day was the oddest sensation. But I think it was also an important lesson. It raised an important question, at least.

Who am I when I am not what I put on?

This is bigger than jewelry. I, for one, "put on" a lot, and I think a lot of other people do, too. Today I'm going to be super worker. Today I'm going to be the charming author. Today I'm going to be the dutiful daughter. Heck, a lot of these even come with costume changes. I dress very differently for a book signing than I do for my Clark Kent job.

But when I'm just me, in my pyjamas, or even naked, who is that girl? What defines her?

Does she need to be defined?

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