Sunday, September 15, 2013

If not for turquoise rings and new ways to sing old songs on a foggy Sunday morning in September 2013

A few days after Richard died in April 2008, I was walking in the woods, and on the trail I found a silver ring with a round piece of turquoise set in it.  Although I tried to find its owner, I was unsuccessful and put the ring away.

A few weeks ago I had a dream where I said to Richard, "Let's do things differently this time."  He looked intently at me for a few moments and then said, "Yes."  It is the second time this year I have had a dream of having that conversation with Richard.

Not long after the dream, I remembered the turquoise ring I had found in the woods, remembered where I kept it, and tried it on.  It fit tightly on my ring finger.  

Kept with that ring was another turquoise ring that is adjustable:

I don't remember where or when I bought the second ring, although it might have been during the 1990s.  It occurred to me that the adjustable ring would look good next to the tight ring if I had the tight ring sized, and if I wore the adjustable ring below that ring.  

When Richard came back from Vietnam in December of 1970, his mother asked that I wear a ring on my wedding ring finger when we visited.  She had told his younger brothers and sisters that we had married upon his return.  We had made no plans to marry, but I had a silver ring encircled with squares of embedded turquoise and wore that. My mother had given me the ring (made in Arizona by a Native man named Elias, which is my father's father's name), after she had visited a friend in Arizona some years earlier.

I don't remember when I stopped wearing that turquoise ring on my wedding ring finger, but I do know that I continued to wear the ring for a few years afterwards, after Richard and I had separated.  It was sometime in 1972 that I took the turquoise ring off to wash my hands at the sink in the restroom of the insurance company where I worked as a kitchen helper and cashier in the cafeteria.  One of my co-workers went into the restroom right after I did.  When I went right back to look for my ring, it was gone.  My co-worker, a woman in her 50s who had one artificial leg and a tragic life story, denied having seen it.  I didn't believe her, but I let it go.  

Anyway, two weeks ago I took the ring I had found in the woods to a jeweler to be sized.  I am not a person who wears rings or necklaces or other jewelry.  My ears are not pierced.  

When I went to pick up the ring at the jeweler's store a few days ago, I was wearing the adjustable ring.  I slipped the newly sized ring on above it. The two rings looked beautiful together.  As I was looking at the rings, I thought I heard Bob Dylan singing.  When I listened closely to the background music in the jewelry store, I heard this:

"We always did feel the same
 We just saw it from a different point of view
 Tangled up in blue."

Those who were reading my blog in 2008 may remember this from a post a few weeks after Richard died:

"Last week, I finally was able to go to the photo lab in downtown Bellingham so I could order some prints of my old friend and his art work to send to his sister. As I was standing at the counter trying to explain my project, I heard Bob Dylan singing. I stopped talking to listen to him sing. When I tried to talk again, I couldn't because I started crying. The young woman clerk was playing Bob Dylan's album, New Morning, which is what I listened to while my old friend was in Vietnam and what we listened to during the 5 months we lived together in  early 1971. The clerk was playing the ALBUM (!) on a turntable and handed the album cover to me. More than a coincidence. How else could that happen? New Morning is a great album. Ends with a beautiful song called Father of Night. The song that made me start to cry was If Not For You."

My fingers just aren't made for rings anymore, unless they are adjustable.  Later in the day, the newly sized ring, which had been fine in the morning, was in danger of slipping off.  I don't want to lose that ring and will keep it in a safe place where I can look at it and think about doing things differently this time.  

I'm still listening to Another Self Portrait, deeply grateful to be hearing new versions of those songs I remember from 1969-1971 and appreciating how Bob Dylan has taught me to see how everything, not only music, can be open to interpretation and transformation.


Anonymous said...

I love this journey of connections.

Sabine said...

There are so many things that seem to fall into place here. I hope it will all be a comfort to you.

The Solitary Walker said...

'. . . appreciating how Bob Dylan has taught me to see how everything, not only music, can be open to interpretation and transformation.'

I know what you mean, Am.

am said...

Thank you robin andrea, Sabine, and Solitary Walker.