I often find myself staring at my hands. I love tracing the faint green veins from my wrist bone down to my fingers. I admire the thin layer of golden brown skin. Decades of strangers commenting that I have the hands of a pianist lead me to teach myself to play.
When I type, I see my mother. She brought Mac computers to T.C. Williams High School in the 80’s. Remember the Titans? She spent hours learning how to set up the components, program, and add memory. The thing took up half the room and she was brilliant, typing over 80 words per minute. As I tap out letters, I think of mom.
Perched on her right index finger, a marble-sized ruby atop a gold band. I loved watching the ruby bob up and down as mom pecked out pages and pages on her keyboard. I had never seen a gem that big and never seen hands so glorious.
When mom died fifteen years ago, I inherited her ring. I admired it through the sealed ziplock baggie, then locked it away in my safe.
Last year, I took it out of the bag and put it on my finger. I admired it for three minutes, then sealed it up again.
I’ll break it.
It’s too special.
I can’t wear mom’s ring.
Why have I locked mom’s ring away for fifteen years? Why don’t I call it my ring?
My thinking about this is wacky but familiar. Don’t I do the same thing with my writing? I have crafted beautiful stories, plucked out glorious songs, and written a draft of a book, a one-woman show and two musicals. I have a shelf stacked with folders of lovely short stories. Despite several fellow writers telling me it’s time to publish, I keep my gems locked away.
I’m protecting them. They’re not quite polished enough. I can’t find the right place for them.
A ring is a ring and a story is a story. Both are meant to be shown. Showcased.
I’m wearing the ring now. Tomorrow, I’ll submit a story for publication.
What creations have you locked away?
What gem are you willing to release to the world?