Sunday, April 4, 2010


When I was with my friends yesterday in Portland, I walked past a man playing a musical instrument and selling stained glass pieces. I gave the man the cursory look I usually reserve for crafts, long enough to make sure there wasn't anything I was missing, but not so long as so they'd think I was interested and stop me. This time, though, something grabbed me.

I am not usually an arts and crafts person. I think the little creations people make and sell on the streets are pretty, and I admire the colors, but I would never buy one. What would I do with it? I don't wear jewerly, and any knick knacks would get lost in a day's time, never to be seen again. Plus, most of the crafts that I might consider buying just for the hell of it are quite expensive and out of my price range.

This stained glass peace symbol, though! Wow! First of all, I love peace symbols. I always have. It's a symbol of my love for the '60s. Second, it was beautiful. The colors jumped out at me. Sky blue, light green, dark blue and dark red. Different but complementary textures of glass. I didn't know why I liked it so much, but my heart was calling out to me in a language I couldn't put in words. I felt connected to that piece. Usually I only feel that way about junk food and music. I was surprised. :)

When I was in sixth grade, my grade class all made stained glass items. I had a very creative teacher. Mine was a heart, with the most beautiful tint of red for glass. I don't remember much about it, but the shape, size and patchwork-style of this piece reminded me very much of my heart from long ago. The school auctioned off the pieces to raise money for some cause I can't remember. Of course, everyone's parents bought their kids' pieces. Even my mom, who swore before the auction that she wouldn't. Luckily, mine only went for $40. Some went for more than $80.

My heart ached for this similar piece in downtown Portland, or maybe just for the memories that went along with it. I thought, well, maybe this peace symbol can be a bridge. A bridge from the person who I was in the past to the person I am now and will be in the future. Hopefully, when I look at it, I will be reminded of strength, and peace, and the healing power of time. Maybe I will just smile at its beauty.

I stood there for the better part of ten minutes, considering, before I finally made up my mind. I wanted it. It was going to be mine. And for only $10, it was quite a good deal. I made up my mind I wouldn't spend more than $15 before I asked the price, and was pleasantly surprised when it fell within that range.

Either way, it's the first crafty thing I have ever bought in my life, and for once, I spent money on something that will hopefully have more lasting value than pack of crackers. That feels good to me.

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