Broken Bangles

Stories from one woman's heart and mind

Yellow grass

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Once she placed her head on the yellow grass, and closed her eyes, she could give up thinking about the next step of the journey.  It was not as hard as she had thought. The grass was dry and brittle, but she could count on not getting wet and smelly. The highway was quite far away and out of sight, and she was quite certain no one would find her here, and threaten her well being. People were always afraid of this and that, and it was tiresome to spend one’s life being afraid of all the things that could go terribly wrong. In fact,  she had not washed herself for days. Her jeans and her t-shirt fit very comfortably and her hair in a pony tail didn’t mind not being brushed or combed. The long days on the road, walking and sometimes riding with a stranger, in the same clothes, with little to eat, some water, peeing in gas station restrooms or in the ditch, had not resulted in some inevitable stench. On the contrary, she smelled real.  She smelled of wind and grass, and earth.  She slept lightly, sliding into a soft dream, into landscapes without a foothold. She floated through layers of colours as though she was the brush in the hands of an impressionist painter, creating as she floated and dreaming the next contour and image. It was very pleasant. A soft chuckling noise woke her and within a few feet a very young deer, still with white spots, looked into her face, with large eyes designed to inspire empathy. She clucked noises at the deer, who was not afraid of her yet.

She turned towards the sky, and the afternoon sun was still strong, but the tree she had chosen to lie under was creating a comfortable cool shade. The baby deer moved slightly but otherwise kept eating some blackberry brambles. It was eventually time to go. As she lifted herself up, the deer moved away startled, and rather than try to entice the deer, she picked up a pine cone, and threw it at the deer, who bolted.  Better the deer should be wary of people. The next encounter could be less kind. She brushed off her jeans, hoisted her rucksack on her back, and headed down the path towards the highway.

Written by brokenbangles

July 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm

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Today a bangle broke

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Broken bangles and broken baubles were a metaphor for all the things I hold dear, for awhile, and which I must let go of because there is no choice.

Today, a real bangle broke. I was doing a yoga move, which included placing my wrists under my spine. I was wearing two red bangles, plastic, which I bought in Kolkata. They were a sign of being a Bengali woman. A married Bengali woman I think. I had two white conch shell bangles as well, meant to be worn with the red ones, but they broke a while back. Under my spine, one red bangle went snap, crackle, pop, quietly, as if everything was finding its rightful place. I had a sense of relief that I now owned one less bangle and one less signpost on my body reminding me of my tribe of origin.

I think the broken bangle took some of my tension with it. I feel lighter, my shoulders feel softer, my wrists less complicated.

Written by brokenbangles

July 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm

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Bangle Soup

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My bangles and expectations break from time to time.  I don’t count on it though. If I stopped to think about it, I would probably consider the life cycle of a new bangle or expectation to be finite, but I step into the wonder of the new acquisition with a certain amnesia and desire that this one will be memorably shiny and pleasing for a very long time. It’s fun and exciting to engage and it feels like spring just then. I’m willing to plant things once again. I’ve had a lot of bangles. Some of them haven’t broken, but it just so happens I haven’t used them much either. Some of them hang there on my bangles rack, waiting for a particular mise en scene where they would look perfect, already weather worn from imaginary repeat performances, but that scene may never be realised. The bangles I do use get broken, lost, worn, and sometimes, disinteresting. I have some from when I was a teenager and a small unresolved part of me is waiting for just that fantasy scenario to put on those bangles, not that the bangles are central to the story, but instead really appropriate props.

I have bangles I must not lose, because they were given to me by someone who expects me to remember them – and their love – by those gifts. I have to keep them for a respectable length of time so their love is not in vain. I have a broken bangle that I hope can still be fixed one day. It has been broken for ten years, maybe more. It’s a snake shaped bangle. The head is in place but the tail has been broken off. It still promises to awaken the Kundalini in me. If only I could affix the tail – but it is gone. I’ll have to fashion something to make the snake complete – perhaps, one day. I wish sometimes I was not encumbered by all these bangle stories, and the solution is to get rid of them but I do like to wear some of these bangles sometimes. They jingle and jangle like punctuation marks on my body. I am not a nun. Not yet anyway.

I wish there was a central communal bangle depository, so that at the end of each day or week I could give back the bangles I wore and let someone else have them. I wish they were not mine to keep and maintain. I hope no one ever gives me another bangle, as I don’t want to have to keep it. I would like to have expectations which I can let go of happily, returning them to the proverbial primordial soup from which they were extracted and fashioned into accessories for my life.

Written by brokenbangles

June 26, 2010 at 10:57 pm