Monday, May 24, 2010

history and earrings

One of my many current enthusiastic tidying up, clearing out, sorting and classifying projects (probably all a form of procrastination - I have a large bag of graduate papers, too) is my jewelry drawer, which has taken on a life of its own, rather like kudzu, with earrings sprouting and nesting in the tendrils of old, complex, and hopelessly knotted necklaces. Very few of these will, of course, actually be thrown out (I even keep damaged, dilapidated single earrings in some kind of misguided trust that someday they, and some glue, and some kind of backing, will result in a one-off, highly crafty pin). But this reluctance to jettison old jewelry is, as much as anything, a reluctance to throw out memories - like the earrings I bought in Florence market back in around 1981.

This particular pair came from a store down the Cowley Road, some time in the mid 1990s. They are both my largest pair, and quite possibly my lightest - made of titanium foil, I believe, and colored like dragonfly wings. They don't often see the light of day (too tempting for the cats' paws, for a start) - but I remember very well wearing them to a party at Elaine Showalter's house in 1998, and her admiring them extravagantly. I was flattered beyond measure...that she would actually notice such things (I didn't then know her at all well...). Nearly all the little shiny baubles currently covering my desk top likewise have their own miniature histories.

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