Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Goodbye Jane 4

I felt old. I felt like I had already lived life and this was just another.

A week later I dreamed about Mama. She was alive and she mentioned an event that she had gone to years previously. She lost a ring that had a lot of meaning to her because Papa had given it to her. She never thought much of the loss. But she really liked the ring. It was a simple gold ring with an engraving on it.

The memory of her saying this to me faded and I was at the memorial. I spoke to the family about this ring. Inside the living room of the beach house we decided to go find the ring. We would look for it where she had lost it.

The place was a popular and venue for events. It was a large dance hall that people used for all sorts of celebrations. There was an enormous green lawn and it was full of tables for an event gathered. The themed color of the celebration was a soft pink. There was a large eastern style awning and trellis that served as the gateway to the grounds. I briefly regarded the wood and stonework. Then I blew past the crowd and entered the dance hall.

In the background I could hear my family explaining to the guests that we were searching for Mama's ring. I looked around. And my eye caught a glint. I grasped for it hoping it was the ring Mama had described.

I was disappointed to find that the gold ring was not the simple design that Mama had described, rather it was a gold ring with a hamsa on it. I put it in my pocket and continued the search. I looked up and my family had also begun their search.

As I wended my way through the dance floor I came across many rings on the floor. Some were hoop earrings. Some were ersatz. And they were of all varieties. Gold and silver. Turqoise and ruby. Ornate and simple.

I picked each one up; hoping, hoping, hoping each one was Mama's. Day turned to night. I found myself outside in a sparse landscape on the edge of the world. It was rocky and my family was there, still searching for the ring. My hands were full of rings that were wrong.

At the edge of the earth we were looking. A group of people looked on. I heard one speak to another, “?por que ellos estan buscando para un anillo?”

Without looking up I replied, “porque es importante a mi abuela, ella se lo ama.”

And one spoke in another language I did not understand and finished, “y ?Por que ella no busca para el anillo?”

I puffed up with anger and faced the man. “Porque ella no puede encontrarlo, ella se murio.”

I awoke, hands empty. I did not have any rings.

Later, as I gathered my things to walk to work I thought about how cool it would be to smile and say good morning to everyone I passed on the street. By the time I finished packing my dream had faded and I lost the courage to smile and say good morning to people.

I realized later the significance of the ring with the hamsa. The hamsa is a sign of good luck in North Africa and Islam. It was traditionally given to women as an amulet of security and blessings. In Buddhism it is known as the Abhaya Mudra a symbol of peace, benevolence, and the dispelling of fear. It is the traditional hand gesture strangers give to each other to signal good will.

We were never going to find Mama's ring; a futile search. There was something in the search though. I did not find her ring but I found one I'd like to search for. Good luck, benevolence, and dispelled fear.