I stand in the craft store looking for wire and the little clamps that you use at the end of a beaded project to hold the whole thing together. But I don’t have my instruction book with me. I don’t know what I’m looking for, not really. My daughter stands beside me exasperated and eager to just get out of here so we can go to the mall. But I’m determined. I want to make prayer beads for meditation. So far I’ve collected a pink skull bead, a rose quartz bead, a cowrie shell, an evil eye, and a small pomander ball filled with osha root. I’m keeping my eye out for a small cross and a bumble bee.
I stare at the wall of supplies and realize that I’m totally at a loss. Do I need those fancy jewelry pliers? What about the cowrie? How do I wrap it? Or do I drill a hole in it? I’m clearly confused, but I try to maintain my cool. I’m not sure if I want to be like the other moms in there buying scrapbook supplies and puff paints or if I want to be like the cool Bohemian twenty-somethings buying steam punk beads and modge podge. Maybe I don’t want to be like either.
I distract myself with candles. There is an audible sigh from the teen.
“Why do you always buy so many candles? It’s weird.”
I ignore this comment and ask her if I should get scented or unscented white votives.
“Unscented, of course.”
She knows I’ll cover each in perfumed oil anyway. She knows that the synthetic fragrances in the scented candles won’t mix with the smell of incense and sage that permeates my house. Two of my best friends say my house smells like a hippie, but they like it. I just secretly thank god it doesn’t smell like a dog.
I’m back at the beads. I pick up various bags of wire. I simply have no idea what the hell I think I’m doing. Prayer beads? What kind of new agey jerk have I become? I feel silly and like I’m grasping for something totally out of my reach and beyond my age and absolutely trendy.
Screw it. I’m going to do it anyway. I grab a bag of generic “Craft Wire” in various colors and toss it in the cart with my unscented white votives, three empty bottles that I’ll later fill with Four Thieves vinegar, and a tiny purple stuffed octopus that my daughter urges me to get.
I buy my random assortment of treasures and head for the car. My daughter puts the new octopus toy on the dash board and we name him Periwinkle. At home, I stash the wire with the beads I’ve collected. I set my candles on my table and put the vinegar jars in the cupboard.
I haven’t begun my prayer bead project yet. Sometimes I’ll take all the beads out and look at them, study their shape and size. But I don’t do anything with them besides keep them in a pretty box my mother gave to me that I keep right next to the sage and scented oils.