What a small, odd world this is

I got a haircut Monday, and it’s very short, even by my standards.  So when I was getting dressed for work, I decided to dig out some of the cool earrings I’ve collected over the years, and indulge in pretty danglies which could be shown off by my military-style hair cut.

I wear a nostril screw in the sidewall of my right nostril; my left ear is pierced four times in the lobe and partially up the rim, and my right ear is pierced once. My OCD demands that all the jewelry I wear in these holes in my head match, so if I deviate from white metal earrings, I must change my nostril screw as well. I confess, I’m lazy, and tend to wear the same set of earrings and leave the nostril screw in indefinitely. So even though I have many different and beautiful earrings, I tend to settle on one set and take them out at night and put them back in in the morning.

Yeah, it’s lame that this is less effort and therefore desirable to me. I get it.

Anyway, digging through my jewelry chest yesterday I found some of the beautiful earrings I’d collected made by designer Laurel Burch. Since I’m lazy and have been on a white metal kick since about 2001, I hadn’t worn them for quite a while, but I still love them dearly. Since they’re 14-karat electroplated, I had to change my nose stud to the gold one, and dig out the little gold hoops for the top holes in my left ear. Quite the change from the everyday little silver balls, eh?

Later in the afternoon, a lady comes through my cashier’s lane at Target and recognizes my earrings.

“Are those Laurel Burch earrings?” She was pleased to have recognized them, and I was pleased to have made this unlikely connection with a total stranger. I said yes, and how I loved all her designs, and was wearing them to ‘celebrate’ my fresh haircut.

She said that she was a friend of Laurel Burch’s and had visited her at her home in Novato, California, just a few months before she died. She mentioned what an amazing person Ms. Burch was, as well as being a prolific and eloquent artist.

I was struck, first by the unlikely connection of a stranger recognizing the design of one of my favorite artists, and then by the news that the artist had died.

I hadn’t followed Laurel Burch very closely, but I did really enjoy her whimsy and love of colour at the time when I was still buying jewelry. Since I’ve not been shopping for art or jewelry in a great while, I hadn’t thought about it or her for a long time.

It was such a bittersweet moment, to establish a connection with a complete stranger who appreciates the same precious thing that you do, and then to learn that the creator of that precious thing has died. Turns out that Laurel Burch died back in 2007. Although I never knew her, I’m just mourning her passing today.

Comments are closed.