live it baby girl, a whispered soul mantra locket in the shop
People often ask me where the soul mantra phrases come from. Sometimes the phrases arrive almost "on the wind" when I am in my studio working with the letters and lockets, and they push me to pound them into metal. Sometimes the mantras are born from my experiences and from stories my friends share with me. Then there are the phrases that whisper in moments of quiet when I am in the midst of living.
From time to time, I am going to share these stories, beginning today with the story of the "live it baby girl" soul mantra.
The day was thick with missing and grief.
I walked along the water, my eyes turned toward the spaces between sand and rock, hoping to find the small tumbled glass, hoping it would connect me to her. With each step, the sadness grew as I was pulled back to the last time we walked on the beach years ago. Realizing I remembered so little from that last ocean visit, I wished I could go back, right back, and hear her laughter. As I found the first piece of small, rounded green glass, my chest hurt with the longing to look up and see her a few steps ahead of me. I would call out to her and say, "I found one!" and rush over...my 26-year-old self becoming my 5-year-old self in that moment as I would seek the approval and perhaps even the jealousy of my grandmother. Instead, my 33-year-old self walked alone inside the missing that day.
The tears tapped at the backs of my eyes as I searched between the grey, white, brown rocks, bending over even though my back ached. Tucking the sea glass into my pockets, the truth of grief my companion.
Finally, I unfolded, coming out of the searcher's stance and faced the neverending lapping, pushing, pulling water. I closed my eyes and tried to hear her voice inside the memories, but I kept getting caught up in my own words, "I miss you. I can't remember. I wish...I wish..." Taking a breath, I tried again to hear her. Giving up, I opened my eyes and looked at the mountains in the distance; my face softening with the truths that seemed to float inside me. Then it came:
Live it baby girl.
Was it her voice? My voice? The voice of something greater than me? I brushed the wondering aside and made the choice to just be right there, breathing in the grief, the truth, the beauty, and all that she taught me.