This morning talking on the phone with Carole, I said I have two days to find presents for Vada and Cheyanne. I wanted to give them each something special, didn't know what, and it had to be accessible in Sparta. She mentioned earrings for Vada, 3, who recently had her ears pierced and loves her little dot earrings. And for Cheyanne, 7, she suggested a chain necklace with a charm on it. Of course. From that moment, I was ready to park in front of the jewelry store and go in. But the car battery was dead. I think it's the GPS. I make it a point to turn it off, but it turns itself back on. The car sits idle a couple days and it drains the battery through the lighter hole. I unplugged it. The only time I need it is driving on the Parkway in pea soup fog and going some place I don't know how to get to. Allan came by with car to use the battery. I had cables connected and ready to go when he drove up. Car started right away. Thank you, Allan. We talked for awhile, I came back to the house, changed clothes, picked up the checkbook and headed for town. I will need the GPS going to Dudley and Muffet's New Year's party. I need the GPS every time I go there. It's a subdivision on the side of a mountain with roads going every which way, and their house is at the far end of the maze. Before GPS I used directions I'd written from Dudley's directions. I'll plug the GPS in as I need it. Like my friend Jr Maxwell said, If it aint one knot in a log, it's ten.
I drove to town in a happy spirit, stopped at the bank drive-thru, and turned down Main Street to the shopping center with the jewelry store, between the auto parts store and the Chinese diner, pulling me on an electrical beam. I was on a mission. Parked in front of Adams Jewelers. I'd never been in the place. Stepped inside the door and it was like I'd stepped into wall of lights. Diamonds in glass cases sparkling, shiny glass everywhere, white and silver, diamond sparkles all around. I think I felt the allure of diamonds. A young woman came to assist my quest. A charming girl I suspected was still in high school or not long out. At a certain age, it becomes difficult to differentiate ages in youth. She was good at her work. I asked about baby earrings in colors. She brought from behind the counter a small display of a dozen colors in two sizes. I picked a soft green gem, very faint green, just a dot of a breath of green. I wanted a color that would complement her face rather than distract, just a hint of sparkle, like a French perfume. Next, a necklace for Cheyanne. My assistant showed me a silver chain that was just right. I was glad she was young, closer to Cheyanne's age. I allowed her feminine to guide me with full confidence. They had a display of varieties of charms. The man there, who was the jeweler, asked what hobbies Cheyanne had. I could only say television. Back to the beginning. I scanned the display case waiting for something to stop my eye, waiting for It. A silver dragonfly jumped in my face. On sight, I said, The dragonfly. I could see in its structure that it was sound, the wings would not fall off one day. It was delicate with lace patterns in the wings.
Cheyanne has a delicacy about her that she protects 24/7. It concerns me that she might bury her delicacy so deep she'll lose access to it. I mourn for Cheyanne's life at its beginning. I pray for Cheyanne, especially when we sit on the couch in front of the tv, shoulder to shoulder, our heads touching. I ask only that she be taken care of, looked over, be with her all along her way. She needs a lot of extra-terrestrial help. I don't imagine knowing her beyond her childhood, so in this time in Cheyanne's life, I want to be the one she can count on not to judge her, not to scold her or talk down to her, not to tell her what to do, but be the one whose love is not coercion. Very moody child, lives in two worlds, now three worlds with school. Justin and Crystal took care of her for a year, and there came a time to face it that this is not working out. Crystal and Cheyanne's mother were two very different women playing tennis with Cheyanne the ball. I felt sorrow for Cheyanne. A year ago she told a judge she was tired of going back and forth and he increased the back and forth instead of lessening it. She visits daddy every other weekend now, and stays with her mother, which is where she really belongs. We saw in that year her soul is here to be with her mother. No matter what mama is like, Cheyanne is linked to her. Who's to say that's not a good thing?
She'll have a hard life of her own making, but that's ok. Her mama does. Her grandma does. People who don't know how to get along in this world, doing the best they can to stay afloat. Souls that have not yet learned education makes your life better. Not because you make more money with a college degree than high school. I've only worked at one job above minimum wage, and it only slightly. I never wanted to do the kind of work that requires a degree. I wanted my education for my life, not for a job. I didn't want to work in a city, didn't want to be middle class. Though I have to confess I like both worlds. I like the world of high school educated people I live in among the mountain people. I like the world of the college educated people too. The two worlds really don't mix. The masters and the slaves, the bosses and the workers. I'm not in the hierarchy, so I am able to see all of them as individuals, not as a class. Two different cultures. Very different cultures. In the American Congress, the people putting themselves in the news, like Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, are pathetic examples of the college educated. I'd much rather know people who work for a living, including people who don't know how to get along in this world. I'm one who doesn't know how to get along in this world. It's a condition I recognize in a lot of different people. It's pretty common. We disguise it the best we can to keep a job. I know in my heart Cheyanne will be ok, whatever path she makes for herself. Maybe she will have the dragonfly necklace all along her way, or her mother might sell it. There's no knowing it's future. The only part that matters to me is the moment of giving it to her. From that moment on, it belongs to Cheyanne.
sol lewitt, himself