Last night I finally started my own Safe String. I had been looking at objects in my Dad's old widget drawers - those plastic boxes with a lot of little compartments where he organized brass nuts, wing nuts, large bolts... everything that might have been discarded by someone less creative when the object associated with it broke or became obsolete. But my dad was a tinkerer. He always saw the value in sturdy objects that might be re-purposed.
Several of the items on my string are from those drawers. Reminding me that, if my Dad could survive a lifetime of living with a handicap from polio, I can survive staying home and staying safe.
Other items are: a sea shell remnant, ravaged by other sea creatures that drilled holes for me. Picked up on a beach when I had no cares at all - only the warm sun and an ocean lapping at my toes. I also have a beautiful handmade bead, reminding me that, one day, there will be craft fairs again, where I can discover amazing artists who make beads or jewelry. I also have some vintage items - very possibly beads that were around in 1918 when the Spanish Flu killed thousands. But someone survived to give birth to someone who survived to have me. You and I are the direct result of Spanish Flu survivors! We can stay safe and generations after us can say this same thing about our time because you and I helped to protect young mothers and children by staying home.
One fun, odd object on my string is a "picture hanger" hook that goes in the wall. I grabbed it out of my Dad's stuff because it represents me very well. I'm an artist. I create things that I hang on the wall - that others hang on their walls - telling a story, sharing an emotion, or just something beautiful and peaceful to enjoy every day. My walls are covered with other artists' work as well. If my Safe String tells my story, this is the symbol of my work as an artist - the end goal is to get it up on someone's, or my, wall to enjoy.
Finally, I also have several shell buttons that were saved by my stepmom, Jamie, who died from Alzheimers in 2017. She was an avid collector of both buttons and sea shells. I honor her because she made it possible through my inheritance to be in this place, safe in my home, while I know that many don't have a safe place to shelter from this virus. I think about them all the time.
Have you started your Safe String yet? I found it to be even more helpful than I anticipated. SO therapeutic because it's completely personal. No rules, no judgement, no redos. It just is. Whatever you want to put on yours for whatever reason is fine - share or keep it private, but I wish you'd share!!
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