For once in our lives, doing nothing does the most, but here's an idea .... for every day you are in isolation, mark each day with a bead, on a string ...
When this trial over, you will have a memory strand of color and vibrancy ... a creative and beautiful memento of this most challenging time. Many religious traditions use beads to mark breath and prayer so why not mark each of these sacred, difficult days with your own safe beads. One by one, and for each day you are staying safe inside your home, designate each day with a bead. I envision a collection of these strings being created as a reminder of our resiliency and dedication to stay safe and centered in the sacrifice we are all making to care for one another. If you don't have beads, try taking apart old jewelry or using buttons, trinkets found in your junk drawer, anything at all that would fit on string.
So how did this all get started? Well, in an attempt to make a non-sewing mask I decided to contact a local merchant who sells all kinds of rock n roll memorabilia, incense, tie dye clothing and beads. The perfect place to find a bandana. Walking into this store in the heart of Cherry Hill, NJ, is like walking back to a time when there truly was a sense of peace, love and understanding. No one is ever chased out no matter how long you browse, Rock music and incense fills the air, cats roam freely, someone is always giving a workshop on how to make jewelry and on weekends, local musicians give free concerts on their front lawn. I thought for sure that “Mom”, the store’s owner, would have a bandana that I could buy and transform into protective gear when venturing out for my rare grocery shopping. I arranged in advance my cash payment and she met me outside. To my surprise and along with my new bandana, she handed me a string with two beads.
In this one moment I felt bonded in our collective sacrifice. My fear, separateness and loss of control during COVID-19, could now be experienced in a generous, creative and positive way by honoring each day with something small, significant, sturdy and safe. I went home and immediately took out all my old, broken jewelry, beads (that I had previously purchased from Mom) and other trinkets such as favorite buttons and shells and counted out a bead for every day I have been in insolation. The result was an amalgamation of memories and color. The result was a happy function to look forward to each day. The result was each day had its own identity, its own fingerprint. I was also struck with the sense that this physical object, this daily addition of hope and resolve should and could be shared with others. Galen and I immediately decided the best way to get this idea out to you was to create safe-string.com. And so now, from one heart to another, like a string of goodwill …. the idea is yours!