Losing My Precision
For some reason, I don’t generally lose material objects (she said, religiously touching wood).
Oh, sure, some stuff has gone mysteriously missing over the years (where are some of my 60s shoes, those square-toed brown leather bronze Pilgrim-buckled ones in particular? I don’t recall throwing them out…), but mostly it all sticks.
I still have stuff from when I was a wee lassie: the heart-shaped little blue plastic jewelry box with a clear lid that my grandma bought me when we went shopping in downtown Brooklyn when I was about six, and she took me to the Automat for the first time (I indulged myself with a liverwurst sandwich and hot chocolate from those wonderful silver dolphin founts); my teensy monogrammed gold baby ring (now on a charm bracelet), also from my grandma, who gave it to me when I was born, the first grandchild on the McDonald side; my Girl Scout pin; an aquamarine flower pin that my mom gave me for my tenth birthday…
You see the theme here. I hang on like grim death to anything jewelry or jewel-related. So it was especially weird and upsetting when I lost a brooch I had had made in Jim’s honor.
MDF Gregg Wolf, a brilliant jewelry designer and silversmith (check out his website, if he ever gets it running), had designed a wonderful single wing in silver that looked like an angel’s pinion, which he made up as rings and pendants and brooches.
I asked him if he would do a brooch for me of two of the wings crossed, so that it looked like a heart of wings, as a memorial brooch for Jim on the twenty-fifth anniversary. He happily obliged, and it looked gorgeous (Mr. Wolf added it to the line, and tells people that Jim’s wife designed it as a memorial for him, very sweet).
Anyway, a few years later I was wearing it on July 3, when I went out very early in the morning to light a candle at a lovely Romanesque-style Victorian church on 14th Street, which I sometimes do. When I got there, I noticed the brooch had fallen off my black cotton shirt. I was hysterical, but lit the candle anyway and then walked back home, staring at the ground, hoping to find the brooch along the way.
I had no hope, really, because, well, NYC, piece of silver jewelry lying on the sidewalk, what were the odds? People are out and about even at 6 am; who’s not going to notice it and grab it and run? Unless somehow I had dropped it before leaving my building, though I was not sanguine about the chances. Therefore I was so very sad as I trudged homeward.
When I got to my post office place, there it was! Lying on the pavement like a fallen shiny leaf, just waiting for me to pick it up and take it safely home. I like to think Jim made it invisible, so that no one else took it…hard to believe that no one saw it lying there, where it must have been for at least fifteen minutes. Or perhaps anyone who saw it felt the vibe of bad, BAD karma that I would have sic’d on them, and wisely let it be.
I’ve lost a few items since—unusual and very annoying—but if that brooch had really been gone I would have felt, somehow, I don't know, personally insulted.