On Friday a package from Atlanta filled our mailbox. Jeanne, my first cousin David's wife, culled her earring collection of pairs that she no longer wears. She wrote brief recollections on sticky notes and bundled them with the earrings in rolls of bubble wrap. What a treasure trove of memories and beauty.
Jeanne wrote that many of these pairs are "too dangly" for her: Our tall friend Betsy can carry off big hats and huge earrings with great style. Sometimes Dave will look at one and say, "You have on Betsy's earrings." He's always right. Some of these are "Betsy earrings." And now they will dangle from the ears of another tall, long-necked woman.
From among the many pairs in the package, I chose these dainty amethyst earrings to wear first. Don't seem to wear gold- or fake gold- anymore, though I liked the little amethyst drops for quite awhile, wrote Jeanne. They matched the shirt and scarf I'd donned to head out for a Saturday of tutoring a student and his mom in math, wandering about Old Town Alexandria, and meeting a long-lost friend to see the movie Contagion.
Contagion raises the spectre of a viral pandemic and the race to find a cure. It reminds us of the unseen germs that lurk on every surface we touch. Lying on their bubble wrap, these purple stones look pure and pristine. But if someone in a shop or in a movie theater were to cough or sneeze on them, and I touched them and then my lips, they might become the vector for a disease.
Watching this movie with my friend Marilyn was especially poignant, since she works for our government, trying to protect our food supply. As she wrote this morning,