Sunday, December 10, 2006

Metal and Carbon

I look at my engagement and wedding rings a lot ... three times in an hour is probably a low estimate. I imagine that someone seeing the frequent gazes at my finger – maybe passing by my desk at work or standing behind me at the pharmacy – might think that I'm a brand-newlywed, but I'm okay with that.

The rings lure my eyes so easily but they're very simple. My wedding band is a plain, white-gold band and it sits snugly behind my engagement ring, which is a thin, white-gold band with a round-cut diamond. My sister commented that I had “gone way traditional” when she first saw it, but that’s what I think engagement rings look like. I don’t have a rock that will blind someone across the room, but I’m a small person, and I wanted something in proportion to me. When I look at it, I remember the first time I realized how amazingly reflective diamonds are. I was sitting at my computer and my hand drifted into the sunbeam that fell across my desk. Tiny points of light danced on my wall, and I moved my hand slightly, transfixed at the spots’ movements. I was stunned that the ring on my very own finger could create that much light and play. I still like to see how lamplight is reflected within and outside of the stone, but that’s a bit of the inner geek talking.

Sometimes, for just a few minutes, I take off my rings and wear one at a time. I feel like they embody different stages of my life. The engagement ring is anticipation: wearing it alone brings back the excitement of wedding planning, showers, and the pleasure of telling how JG proposed. The wedding ring is contentment; the solitary band is modest and symbolizes a long, strong commitment. It’s uncluttered and quiet, the way I’d like to be in the future. My rings give me aspirations of optimism and serenity and I like them together because of it.

Pragmatically, I know that these pieces of jewelry are just metal and carbon and these cold, hard materials do not intrinsically inspire affection and awe. What is it, then?

Ah, it’s the giver. Yes, I think of anticipation and contentment when I see them, but most of all, I think of JG. I remember him down on one knee and at the altar. I remember saying yes and saying vows. That’s a lot to handle, and somehow, all of it is compressed into these two rings. No wonder I look at them so often. Maybe I’ll be able to wrap my head around it one of these days.

Until then, I’m satisfied to look my rings periodically, and occasionally flutter them in front of JG and say, “Look how pretty!” as he shakes his head. He knows I love them and him, but not in that order.

1 comment:

janet said...

I could have written this, if I was as good of a writer as you. What I mean is that I feel the exact same way.