Somehow it had moved. The old cream bottle filled with beads, all from Florence when our son was in Italy. He brought back a great selection of them and more on a necklace. I'd never take it apart, only wear. It was the 1980s; all dates escape me more and more. I spill them out to look again--it's been a long time.
We'd arranged that I'd give him $100 to buy beads for the jewelry I was making then. People ask, on the few occasions I wear one of my Ceremonial Neckpieces, the collection of weathered shells, hardware, beads--below with a coin from Bhutan--why don't you do this now? Why would I? There's not enough room to keep the ones I have; not interested in selling them; each required intensity, better vision.
On our recent visit to northern California, on our first day in San Francisco, we threw ourselves into Chinatown walking and looking. We felt at home again, each of us connecting to our early histories.
Mine as a child in the 1930s, Manhattan's Chinatown entirely different, more crowded, fewer tourists. Eating in tiny restaurants with my father who would later try to teach himself Chines. Ron's first high school teaching was at Seward Park on the lower east side, near Chinatown. Many of his students--in the 1960s-- were recent immigrants from southern China. Much was familiar from the Chinatowns in Manhattan, and the newer ones in Queens, and Brooklyn.
Once in a while the idea of making more another neckpiece, far less labor-intensive than what I did 20 years ago. I still have so many beautiful beads and shells. Maybe.