dailybell: Bridge of Miracles

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bridge of Miracles

9/23 AM Garbage Day
This morning I chose a bell that I haven’t rung in a while. It’s one of my favorite bells and I had removed it from my daily collection because I like it so much. I love the way it sounds- so high and quiet and clear. I had removed it from the ones I travel with because I didn’t want to lose it. I was afraid that I would either leave it somewhere or that someone would take it and not give it back. This is what I learned about objects: the more desirable, the more valuable and the more likely they are to be stolen.

I didn’t understand this or expect it to happen when I first began this project. However, there were several occasions where I had passed out my bells and never saw some of them again. The ones that never returned were the most beautiful sounding or ones that were given to be and were my sentimental favorites. They were irreplaceable. I told myself that was the price of doing business but I still think of those bells, not with regret that I shared them, but with longing. I don’t imagine them with a new life. I miss them. Once I was down to having only a few remaining favorite bells, I decided to remove them from the pack and keep them safely at home.

So of course, I rarely use them and just look at them occasionally. Now they sit on the shelf—constant reminders of the betrayal of others. This morning, for whatever reason, I took this one little bell from the shelf and brought it outside to greet the day. There’s something about the sound of that particular bell which draws attention to other sounds in the environment. Especially to one bird in particular. (audio) This bell and that bird connected this morning through the air, and the honest clarity of that connection was a revelation. For a brief moment, there was no me. No bird. No bell. There was only a quiet, simple awareness of the fabric of this world. It was an amazing experience and in that moment there was no risk. No loss.

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