If we were having coffee, I might pull a twisty tie from my pocket. I save them for my cats, they enjoy them more than the finest cat toys. When we’re talking, I’ll twist the twisty tie into a ring and slip it onto my finger. There’s about a dozen different twisty tie rings I can make without concentrating on the project.
I like rings, especially the ones that come with stories, the ones that were forged in story.
I think I’d recognize the inscription from the One Ring even in passing, even in Tengwar itself. In another of my favorite books, this one by Lynne Reid Banks, we find that a ring we’ve been seeking has been worn as a belt by a house statue. I always look carefully at statuettes in homes, just in case those silly things pulled any stunts before they were frozen into stone.
I even check yard gnomes, just in case.
Every so often I am asked, if I like rings so much– rings with stories– why I don’t wear my wedding ring, the answer is that we sold the originals. We had to.
And the ring I wore after, just as a placeholder until we had time to find something again, well…
There’s a Scottish ballad, Bonny Bee Hom, and it’s about a ring that turns pale after the one who gifted is lost.
My wedding ring is pale now, so I wear another. One that just represents the unity of Dave and myself, one that is less about our marriage, and less about our promises, and more about how we tied ourselves together.
The ampersand was our tie, and I wear it on my finger, on every finger. I’ll shift it back and forth when we’re talking and you might wonder if it means something when I set it on my ring finger for a minute.
It doesn’t. The story of the ring is not altered by its placement.
It is held inside the ring itself, inscribed in a language only a few can read fluently. The story is about loss and the things that cannot fade. The story is about silly things we overlook, and how once we see it, we can never unsee it. The ring is about fiery hells we make, and the ones we survive.
The story is like every other story, and that’s why I don’t tell it. I just shift it on my finger, and refill my coffee, and smile as it clinks against the glass.
Is there a ring in your life that means something to you?