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Loss & Gain

October 9, 2009


My claddagh ring is gone.

I went to put it on this morning from its usual spot on my nightstand, and it’s gone.

Nothing out of the ordinary can I recall about how that came to be. In fact, it has become such a ritual to have it on ever since I acquired it in Galway, that it feels like something that is just meant to be. The way you get up and brush your teeth without thinking about it. It’s just a part of your life.

It was a part of my life. And now it’s gone. I am fairly certain it just came off my finger somewhere, somehow. I just don’t know where. It’s not the first time something like this happened to me…meaningful tokens, especially in the form of jewellery, seem to have a penchant of simply disappearing into thin airs when bestowed upon me. My first thin gold bracelet from mom. A handmade friendship bracelet from my best friend in junior high. I used to be moody for days after that, and mom consoled me by citing an ancient Chinese wisdom that basically says that if you lost something that is valuable, it is fate’s way of protecting you from an impending harm. Ying and Yang, the universe keeps a balance. So technically, the greater the value of your loss, the greater the disaster you averted. I was too young to be content with that explanation. But how do you know that you avoided something bad? I would ask. Couldn’t it be possible that nothing bad is going to happen anyway? And why couldn’t fate take something else…why does it have to take that?

Faith, sweetie, mom would say. You just have to have faith.

Well, years later, I’m still not sure I have that much faith in this ancient wisdom. There have been instances where I’m surprised at the bullet I dodged, and it is comforting to think that the world is inconspicously looking out for you somehow, but I prefer to take rein of my own life. I prefer to decide what I like, what I dislike, what I treasure, and what I can leave behind. No one else should decide that for me. I didn’t ask for it.

The ring didn’t cost much…but it was the symbol of one of the most magical travels I’ve had and a special friendship. It is an insufferable loss and I am beyond the point of consolation.

Just now, however, a package arrived from Amazon – Citizen Kane, The Conversation, and Ebert’s “Awake in the Dark.”

Ying and Yang…maybe?


EDIT (Oct 13, 2009): 

Guess what? I return from the long weekend in a daze of food slumber and in the midst of rushing to work this morning, I was franticly searching through my ring dish to find something to wear, and what do I see in the midst of it, shimmering?

My claddagh ring.

It has returned!

Like nothing happened, exactly where I used to put it. I know I looked there many times too…how bizarre eh? Thanks for your well wishes. I’m usually too cynical to celebrate the true spirit of thanksgiving – I get into it for the food, but this year, I am truly thankful!


8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2009 2:24 PM

    The Ying and Yang argument rings true with me. When I decided to sell my car and start taking the bus to a job that I hated (and didn’t pay much) I got a an e-mail about a new job the day I came home from selling my car.

    I don’t really believe that losing your wonderful ring will cause you to avoid harm, I think it just sucks.

    But maybe it will reappear when you least expect it.

  2. October 9, 2009 3:21 PM

    That sucks. I hope you find it!

    I lost an address book, a daily planner, a hat, and a very sweet card (and gift) while in Japan, as well as an umbrella. Both the umbrella and the bag that the card and gift were in were taken (the bag probably by accident, and had a lot to do with my stupidity–but that’s another story altogether). I have no idea how I lost the address book and daily planner, especially since the daily planner was so big. The hat I left on a bus.

    Of those items, the card and the address book were the most dear to me, the latter for including an inscription from one of my high school friends on the inside. Even while writing this, I’m still upset that I lost those two items.

    I guess the silver lining for you, even if you don’t find the ring, is that you still have the memories. For me, it’s that I memorized most of the inscription, read the card before it vanished, and otherwise had an awesome time in Japan.

  3. October 9, 2009 10:34 PM

    I don’t think loss is protective; but, I also don’t think “loss” is negative: loss is simply another change in an ever-changing existence. Should I mourn the loss of every sunset?

  4. October 11, 2009 5:40 AM

    It’s really sad when this stuff happens. I remember the day I lost my favourite ink pen. I couldn’t even distract myself because anytime I tried to do something else, I’d think, “What the hell, I don’t even have my pen anymore, it’s gone.”

    Also, answer to your final question: doubtful. Chances are, good things happen regularly, but you only see them like that when bad things happen and you want the good thing to have some significance.(Sorry to break the atmosphere but, you know, Keats:
    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”)

  5. October 11, 2009 11:42 PM

    Hi Grace. Sorry about your loss. I’m glad that you have that beautiful picture of it, as an upside.

    Ebert’s “Awake in the Dark” is an awesomely good read. Enjoy.

  6. October 12, 2009 7:46 AM

    I definitely would think as your mom does, hate it as I do to misplace something, particularly if it is inexplicably. Better to lose a ring than a car, a car than a house, a house than a limb…..Loss is more of a learning process than a gain. Mr Ebert is an example.

  7. October 12, 2009 11:18 AM

    i’m really sorry about your ring. but you didn’t lose the memories and good feelings that you associate with it!

    hoping you feel better,

    Don’t Be a Plum

  8. October 14, 2009 10:12 PM

    Glad to hear you found your ring. :-)

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