A Story of a Jade Bangle
Every piece of jade is unique. The Asians believe that jade has its own spiritual callings. With an artisan’s crafty hands, the beauty and characteristics of a piece of authentic jade can be revealed. A piece of jade jewelry, made especially to be worn by humans, is not to be pursued. Due to its own spiritual calling, it would make its way to its destined owner.
Mother acquired the jade many years prior to moving to California in the spring of 2005. Before she moved, I went to her house often, helping her pack the house and accept whatever she didn’t want to move with her.
During one of those days, with her house full of cardboard boxes everywhere, she came to me and said, “This, I bought for you…” as she held up in front of me a bright red satin silk pouch. She unbuckled the brass snap button of the red pouch, adorned with golden threaded embroidery… A circular ring of pale green slid out and emerged in front of my eyes…
I recognized it’s jade. It looked commonplace under the light. I appreciated her gesture and knowing I wouldn’t see her often soon, I wanted to put it on right there and then. The unforgiving stone didn’t budge my big stiff hand… It was painful!
Mother saw the struggle, smiled, and said, “It’s not time yet… Just keep it.” She put the bangle back into the pouch and handed it to me.
Years went by. I started a creative and design studio. Recession came. Time was tough and life was hard. Constantly tried to reinvent and get by… I thought of Mother often–Her ways, her cooking, her words of wisdom…
One day I went through my drawers and rediscovered the red satin silk pouch. I couldn’t remember what it was until I felt the 2.5″ ring it contained. I opened the pouch and recalled the moment when Mother presented this. I held the bangle against the light and discovered the never-before-seen complexity within this simple ring of pale green, composed of smoky beige clouds and little dark green clusters of veins scattered throughout inside this perfectly round, crafted, and polished wrist bangle.
I felt comfortable with it. It’s not stunning, not impressive. It didn’t look expensive. But it has its subtle and natural beauty that is honestly what it is… It made me feel close to home… Close to Mother…
Holding it with my right hand, without much thought, I gathered my left hand's fingertips and put it through the bangle. I naturally slid it toward the wrist, slowly… Then, without really knowing what I was doing, the jade made it past my knuckles and landed on my wrist in no time… Without any pain.
Suddenly I realized that I was wearing it. “Oh no, can I take it off?” I thought and tried to pull it out. But it was stuck! I was experiencing the same pain and struggle I felt when I tried to put it on the first time… Now it’s not letting me take it off!
I’ve been living with the jade bangle ever since. In the beginning, it took me some time to adjust to the clunky noise it would make, every time I rest my left hand on a hard surface. But, as I hear the subtle banging noise, it’d always remind me of Mother, as if she was here with me — Because she wears a jade bangle too, and it’s the same noise she would make.
Day after day, the warm thought of Mother helped me grow very comfortable with the jade. The noise has become a part of my life. The jade itself has become a part of me, my being, and inspiration of Mother’s wisdom.