Back in 1972 my grandmother gave me a charm bracelet for my 11th birthday. From then until I was 18, I added various charms to it, each one representing something special to me.
I haven’t worn it in many, many years. It has been sitting in the bottom of my jewelry box, tucked away amidst other jewelry I seldom wear.
Today I brought it out to photograph.
As I was I couldn’t help thinking about the book The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. It had a charm bracelet on the cover, just like the one the main character, Susie, was wearing the day she was killed.
Obviously that story, like most, has a big element of tragedy. But after reading The Lovely Bones and Lucky, I understood how powerful writing can be as a tool for personal healing, for catharsis. I started writing a novel- Little Girl Lost. Three years later I wrote A Horse Story.
I had lots of personal housecleaning to do. These stories, in addition to lots of journals and blog posts, have helped me feel clean. Open. Almost ready.
Which is why the charm bracelet, today. A little reminder that as much as I love photography, I must not give up on telling my story.
I am going to take my charm bracelet to have it cleaned. I am going to start wearing it again.
And I think I will start adding charms to it… ones that represent the joy in my life to come.