Archive for the 'prayer beads' Category

Lost and found

November 20, 2011

I recently came across a necklace I hadn’t been able to find, and this morning I came across a mala (prayer beads) I was pretty sure I no longer had.  To me the absence of this mala had come to represent an old story in which I had gotten blamed by an adept for the loss of his adeptness, which he had attributed to my loss of his mala.  I had accepted the blame, but it turned out he knew at some level that he had lost his knack because he had lost something else, whether his faith or how to engage in a particular spiritual technique, and that thinking that that loss was caused by the loss of an object was a form of magical thinking; rather, the object and he probably became separated as another manifestation of the same change in his life, and he kind of knew that, but it was emotionally easier to blame me, and I accepted the blame.

I can’t find yet another string of beads, a strand of old coral.  I’m pretty sure it’s still somewhere around here, although it’s possible that if I put it in a pocket of some clothing I later gave away without first checking the pockets, it could be gone to me.  But focusing on my current relationship with it allows me to do two things: remind myself that objects are props, not the main event, and second, that if I need a replacement for something I’ve lost and actually need, in all likelihood I will come across something similar in the future (that’s happened to me with things I have given away and later wished I had (like some peacock feathers), or things of mine others have gotten rid of that I would have liked to have (like my baby dishes), or something that someone gave me and then took back (like a particular sweater): years later I do come across something that’s pretty similar.

What I find myself learning to do this time around, with this necklace I can’t find, is to not veer away from the emotion connected for me with having lost something.  Kind of like what I hear in Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “One Art.”  I (functionally) don’t have it, and I want it.  I’m not telling myself I don’t really want it, I’m admitting that I do really want it and that I am unhappy that I don’t have it.  I am also reminding myself that whatever it is it is a prop for, that less tangible thing and my relationship with it are not jeopardized by the loss of this prop.  It feels as if I’m untangling some emotional wires that have gotten crossed because in previous situations Ihave had trouble facing the loss head on.