Just over a year ago, I broke a ring I wore pretty much every day, on my long finger left hand. The ring was made from a big old black button, its indents filled with gold speckled stuff and with a clear red ball perched – like a cherry on a cup cake – cheekily on the top. The button sat in a bed of silver and its bed of silver was attached to a thick band with holes punched into it. Nothing special, but I loved the statement it made – about me.
I took it to be repaired but the silversmith was unimpressed. It was badly made and badly meshed together, she said. The button was glued into its bed of silver with a harsh strong glue and to fix it she had to unstick it by soaking it for a very long time in hot water. This, she said, may ruin the button.
We established a budget and I left my ring with her.
A week later she called me in. She had managed to get the button out of its bed but in the process it was damaged. It had lost its sheen and was grey and pitted instead of smooth and black. Still, I loved the ring so much that I decided to go on with the repair. As she carried the ring away the red ball dropped onto the concrete floor and disappeared. We scrambled around searching for it but it was gone.
In my head I let the ring go. Years ago a shelf in my kitchen fell smashing its contents. On it had been a set of hand thrown and painted porcelain cups that belonged to a live-in boyfriend. I was devastated by his loss and how he would react. Instead he surprised me saying, “it’s OK I hadn’t had them long enough to love them.” This memory sort of worked but I loved the ring and I never quite got used to being without it. Without it, my left hand was incomplete. I missed it even more than I missed the rings that sat for such a long time on the finger next to it.
This is a good story. A year and a bit later, today, this morning, she called me to say my ring was repaired and had been sitting in her safe since March. She replaced the red dot with a mauve/pink one and polished the black plastic button bit. I feel … balanced again.