Hints of Silver

Tatiana Calonje - India


February 8, 2016

My mother has always had a chest full of rings. Beautiful gold, white gold, rose gold and silver. I was the toddler who had small little gold rings on her tiny fingers. I also had a simple gold bracelet around my wrist for years. It stayed there until I grew out of it. Once I grew out of the gold rings and the gold bracelet, I was a careless 3rd grader who would do a better job at ruining the jewelry than looking after it. I don’t remember when it all happened but I now wear 6 silver rings. I didn’t decide to put them all on at once and the fact that they are all silver was also not a compulsory decision. It started in 2010 and it kind of just happened. Some I kept my eye on for years. They were either in my mother’s vanity or on her hands. Some are from cities in the U.S. and some are from countries I have found myself in throughout the years. A few days ago, I gave away one of them.

I was part of a giving circle. I could of had given away anything. It could of been the new little painting I’ve been working on or it could of been something intangible, like a promise of time. It just had to mean something. Not necessarily to whom it was that would end up receiving the precious item, but to the person giving them away. These small notes with promises, bracelets with coordinates, pressed flowers, anklets that rung of good times, poems torn from the pages, old rupee notes handed down from grandfathers and so much more. They were all laid out before us and there I placed one of my rings. When the thought of giving away one of them crossed my mind, it felt like something inside me was breaking it’s neck to give me a dirty look. It was the “are you serious?” feeling. Every time I look down at my hands, each hint of silver reminds me that they’ve been there for it all. It couldn’t get much more close to home than one of these little size 7 bands of joy. 

The intention behind it all was to learn to part with things that almost feel weighed down with good memories. Some were things that got us through. I couldn’t of chosen a more deserving group of people to wear this ring and take it with them wherever they wen’t. Once all the things were laid out in-front of us, it almost felt like I was taking choosing to hold something far too sanctified and private.

My ring now hugs the finger of a beautiful blue-eyed girl from Norway. She’s been here with me these past months and I must say, it looks incredible on her. She asked me 3 times, “Are you sure you’re ready to part with it?” Yes, I am. Did I think I ever would? No. Surely there would come a day but it would be far off in the future. Far, far, far off. There is now a small tan line from where the ring used to be. Yes, taking it off felt as though I was stripping myself of something. Yes, the initial thought of giving it away to someone made me tear up. The ring means a lot to me, what do you want me to say? I have 5 other rings that mean just as much, but now it’s one less. What is there to say?

Not much, really. You move on, you let these things find a new home. I learn to let go. Letting go  has many measures. I didn’t see this one coming. Yet, I let it go with such a great sense of euphoria and assurance. I hope she finds herself on her own Brooklyn Bridge one day. I hope she travels to places that make her sound crazy but that give her sense of wonder some affirmation. I hope she voices the things that aren’t easy. I hope she laughs at her own daring youth and even if there are days where she has her face in her hands, I hope the hints of silver come to mean even more to her than they did to me.

 I know that kind of significance is possible.

Tatiana Calonje