Of course, the charms that I picked out on that day were a feather (for flight!), a wishbone (for luck!), a heart (for love!), and a hummingbird (for...more flight! Speed? Maybe because it's so pretty? Yes, prettiness!). I was so excited about my birthday intention charm necklace that I didn't stop to realize that just about every other girl in Brooklyn has these very same charms, also wishing for flight! luck! love! prettiness! It was all very personal at the time, you just have to trust me. So I picked out my charms, and I found the corresponding jump-rings, and a nice girl helped me find the right chain, and then she strung them all on the necklace and I walked out the door a new woman. Until I got home and realized that they all just kinda grouped at the center and you couldn't see anything but the feather. But with the other junk behind it, it looked sort of like a feather laying atop a scrap pile. Which was exactly the look I was going for.
Girlfriend Getaway smoothie, to be exact) and I thought, well I'll just go home and attach the charms to the chain myself. How hard can it be?
Friends, let me tell you something in no uncertain terms: Jewelry is a pain in the ass. And this coming from a person who has voluntarily made her own candy corn! They make it look so easy in the store, popping those jump-rings on and off the chain like they're just twisting the stem off an apple. And you know what? If I had the appropriate tools, it might have been easy, too, but all I had were a pair of extra large needle-nose pliers and some other type of wrench or something. (I'm bad at tools.)
Love is maybe the easiest to explain. I could stand to love people more each day. And not just my man, but also my friends and my family, and every creature I encounter. Even the jerks. Especially the jerks. Without love, I fear my edges will harden, and some days on the subway, they get pretty damn rigid.
Luck is what I like to call it when a thing works out my way. And sometimes, I would even venture to say that luck is a result of good choices. But occasionally I've noticed that luck can even happen when you've made a bad choice...and it's that kind of luck that makes me the most hopeful (it's never too late to make it better; no matter what, you are never beyond the blessings of occasional good fortune.)
Flight is not leaving, and it's not running away. For me, it is the moment when all of the practicing--the sharpening of the mind, the largeness of compassion, the daily practice of trying to become a fuller person--coalesces, becoming something that is more meaningful. It is the moment when the things you have wanted and worked for start to happen and life begins anew. To make a very literal metaphor, I imagine the Wright Brothers in their workshop, knowing that their physics is right, and that it's just a matter of time and patience before their experiments yield positive results. They had already seen the fits and starts, the glimmers of success. When the plane finally left the ground, I'm sure they were ecstatic, but not totally surprised.
The hummingbird, as I said before...well it's just pretty. And if you read this blog often enough, then you know that's fairly important to me, too.