“Man cannot discover new oceans unless
he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
– Andre Gide
The back of her hands were smooth and unlined, her black nail polish chipped and scratched. Her dark hair swung in front of her face as she bent over the counter and deftly secured the new hook to my old earrings.
I laughed, “Well, that took two seconds.”
Yesterday I walked to the Beadworks store on Granville Island. I brought along a few of my undone projects, keen to keep going on my #52Creations2016 plan. In less than a minute, this young woman had already helped me complete one of those projects.
We worked together on a few more fixes on some other earrings and then I pulled out the big drawstring bag. This was the real project.
“I bought these wooden beads in Paris. I was inspired by a necklace I’d seen on a window display. Walking past a bead store later that week, I’d bought similar beads.”
I didn’t tell her when that Paris trip had taken place.
Nor did I tell her that upon our return, I’d taken that Ziploc bag of beads to another store in Sechelt and bought the plastic-coated wire and other bits the saleswoman had told me I needed. I’d bought a pendant there too. It all ended up in separate little bags and then in one larger draw-string jewelry bag.
I did not tell her that I moved that bag from Sechelt when we moved to our apartment in Yaletown. I also did not mention that bag was moved to our Olympic Village apartment when we downsized again.
I did not tell her that I had finally done the math and figured out when I originally bought those beads; those beads that were going to be my immediate project upon our return home.
It was the Spring of 2008.
Eight years ago, the young woman in front of me would not have been employed. She would have been watching cartoons in front of the TV with a bowlful of Froot Loops. There was no need to shock her with the old-lady news that time zips along faster and faster until one’s once-upon-a-time-super-immediate project has unexpectedly morphed into an eight-year old bag of random bits that mocks you every time you come across it.
Now, I spilled all those baby Ziplocs on the glass-topped counter. I kept my explanation simple. “I want to put together a long necklace and I’m not sure what else I need to buy to actually do this project.”
She reached under the counter and handed me a small piece of photocopied paper. “There,” she said.
“What’s that?” I asked, taking the paper.
“Those are the instructions on how to put that clasp on.”
“What else do I need to buy?”
She glanced down at the little baggies once more, and then, very calmly, she pushed all my stuff back toward me and said, “You have everything you need.”
Bam! She handed me the perfect five-word gift.
You know where I’m going next right? I mean, seriously…come on!
She had just summed up this whole #52Creations2016 plan by reminding me that I had everything I needed all along.
All I really needed to do was to take a step in the direction of beginning the project.
It’s been said that the journey starts when you lose sight of the shore but I think all you really need to do is dip your toe into the edge of the water and suddenly (eight years later!) your necklace practically assembles itself.
I swear that all of this started by cleaning out the fridge.
Clear it out. Clean it up. Create something new in all that wonderful fresh space.
Clear. Clean. Create.
One step, then the next, then the next…