One Ring to Rule Them All!
January 24, 2013 § 4 Comments
Ok, I couldn’t resist. I just saw the Hobbit with Jeff and the boys a few weeks ago and of course, the ring in the movie holds great power. It’s the reason for four whole quests by several species, including a fine looking elf. But I’m not talking about that ring.
I’m talking about a ring that belonged to my Great Grandmother, my Grandmother, and my Mother. Now, it belongs to me. It came to me in the process of divvying up stuff that is so overwhelming, you want to throw most of it away, and then you don’t, because your mom wore that dress to your sixth grade graduation, or your dad always wanted to play that guitar, even it he never did. So, you keep those things for a year or so, until you realize they don’t hold what you want them to; they just take up space in the back of your closet.
I am teaching my class about symbols and imagery in literature this week and when I ask them what symbolic objects they have in their lives, they answer, almost in unison, “a ring!” So, I know. This is nothing new or rare. In fact, it is so deeply embedded in our culture, this circle–mine is of platinum and three imperfectly shaped pearls –that it’s supposed to mean something about eternity, or commitment, but mine doesn’t quite yet. It does make me think a little about my mom and my Gigi and my Mimi. Still, I stopped wearing it a month or so after I got it. I thought I’d ruin it washing dishes. Then how would I pass it on? Broken jewelry doesn’t symbolize eternal love, or power, or anything. It sits in the back of a drawer. After I put the ring up, I forgot about it. I haven’t worn in in maybe a year. I guess you could say that’s symbolic.
One night this week though, I dreamt about it. In dreams, when my mom shows up, she talks to me on a phone, which is funny, because that is how I most often spoke to her after I turned eighteen and moved away to go to college. I saw her in person, sure, but I talked to her on the phone more often. The receiver was practically an extension of her ear. If one of us five girls didn’t answer her call, odds were, one of the other four would. So, she called me in my dream. She told me some things about her death that I had been wondering, and then she showed me several rings: first, my wedding band, then it switched to an emerald ring she used to wear, but that wasn’t it either. Then it was a larger, more sparkly ring I remembered, shaped like the one I have. That was when I woke up.
It is sometimes a little disturbing to talk to your dead mother on the phone. But she calls, so I have to answer. I remembered about this ring when I woke, and it seemed like she wanted me to wear it. Who knows? I might not be crazy. The ring might be might be like some decoder from the bottom of a cereal box, making sense of whatever or whoever’s on the other end of the line.