Think about the items that have traveled with you throughout your life. The strange, intangible objects that you choose to keep. Forget the big things, the couch, the armoire, the bins of pictures, and the old shoes falling apart in the back of the closet. It’s the smallest of the small that matters. A button, a pin, a sea shell.
We all have one, a special box (no, not that special box). The box that has miraculously moved with us since our teens. Yet it never moves. It never gets lost. It’s etched, bedazzled or an old shoe box from a long ago and far away pair of heels. Very high heels. The box holds a collection of things. Inanimate small things I never let go of although I’ve never needed them. An acorn, a note, a ticket stub.
And then there are the corks.
Champagne, Prosecco, or a bottle of deep Red. There is nothing like the shape of a wine bottle. Sleek, smooth, intense. But it’s all about the cork. The cherry on top of the bottle. The jewel on the crown. That pulling sound … and then the release, a light pop like the sound of a smile. The excitement of not knowing exactly what you will get. Sweet, sour, messy. The very essence of life. The process of opening up. Of going out into the world to do the work. Developing and telling the story of your life. Mine begins with the unknown and probably ends there as well. The corks of my life. A collection of defining memories. Moments tattooed into my soul, carving the deep grooves of my relevance. Defining my being. Each cork, like each story, unique. The colors nuanced and natural. The purpose clear. Once pulled, oddly lifeless and yet still relevant. A reminder of what was. Tangible remains of an animated moment with an inanimate symbol. Do they still mean something? They mean everything.
The Corks of my life.
On the ski lift.
When I didn’t get asked to the prom.
The day I learned to become invisible.
My first rock n roll concert in Central Park.
The moment I realized my father was never coming back.
When I finally lost my virginity.
After It hurt, and I kept doing it.
The day I got my dream job that was a nightmare.
My third miscarriage.
The night before chemo.
The day after my divorce.
My first home.
Dancing in my bare feet singing at the top of my lungs.
In the moment having the time of my life.
When my daughter told me I let her down.
The day a raindrop fell on my check and I realized I was alive.
The day I realized I had survived.
The day I could ask for what I need.
My unexpected soulmate.
Right now, having all I will ever need.