Back when I was making jewellery, my very favourite piece was my Finders’ Keepers necklace, which was a collection of junk I’d found, very similar to this one. Sadly, when I was in Denmark last year, visiting my friend Torhild, it fell off. I decided I had to make another, and Torhild helped me collect pieces from her area. I found more later, in France, and I still had some from Norway, so by the time I came home, I had a nice little collection. I promised Torhild I’d make a matching one for her, after all her help.
This is it. I love it.
And full of good memories. But something awful happened – I put it in a little nook outside my studio to varnish, and left it there while it dried. I often leave paintings there, drying, because the fumes are too intense for me inside my studio after spraying. The nook is public. People walk past. Occasionally they play with my stuff – I saw a papier mache girl I made was moved into her ‘boat’. But nothing’s ever been stolen.
Until the necklace disappeared. I felt really foolish. I’m too trusting. But I WANT to trust the world. I want to trust the community of people who pass that little nook, that they take enjoyment out of my art and understand that it doesn’t belong to them. I was gutted. Not just because the necklace can’t be replaced – the pieces are memories of that trip and that time with Torhild. But because of what it tells me about where I work – that I need to lock up everything carefully, that I can’t trust in the community and world around me. And that breaks my heart.
I wrote a note:
All day I checked back, but nothing. And then when I had given up and was leaving today, I picked up the note to take it in, and there, tucked behind the brick that was holding it down, was Torhild’s necklace.
Everything is alright! My faith is restored. People can and do understand.. there is enough good in the hearts of others to recognise when they’ve hurt me and fix it. Well actually I’m still kind of shaken from it. I’m not sure I can leave my paintings out there afterall. But I’m so glad to have Torhild’s necklace back and I can’t wait to give it to her.
What do you think? Do we need to foster an environment of trust by doing things like leaving out a painting to dry if that’s the best way for it to dry? Or is it just foolish and naive. I’m starting to suspect the latter, but it’s not the way I want to love. I’m interested in your thoughts and experiences. Leave me a comment?