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  • There Are No "Junk" Jewels. The New Year is For Transformations
There Are No "Junk" Jewels. The New Year is For Transformations
Written by
Tayari Jones
December 2011
Written by
Tayari Jones
December 2011

The new year is right around the corner and I am doing quite a bit of housekeeping. It's amazing, but I am seeing metaphors everywhere. Today, I have been cleaning out my jewelry box. In a tangled jumble, there is about twenty years of assorted gold jewelry. A broken chain, a single earring, a stupid ring given me by an ex, a 14K bracelet made up of Xs and Os that I thought was the cutest thing in the world when I was 18. And even a pair of gold "bamboo" earrings. (If you are too young to get that reference, check out the graphic.) But anyway, you get the idea. These things are gold, but I am not wearing them and will probably never wear them again. So, at the advice of a woman I met on the beach in Aruba, I have decided to gather up all these odds and ends and take them to a jeweler. The plan to is have the gold melted down and redesigned into a gold cuff bracelet, the kind that I have always wanted, but I didn't feel comfortable shelling out that kind of cash on a shiny bauble.

It made me think about the rest of my life. How much valuable stuff do I store away, unused, because I lacked the imagination to transform it? Are there manuscripts adandoned on my hard drive that may have lovely images or juicy paragraphs that could be helpful to my current project? Maybe that dead novel in my desk drawer can be carved into a short story or two.

I know the old adage is "All that glitters is not gold." This is true, but all gold does in fact glitter, so why not put it to good use. My challenge to everyone is to take a good look at your "junk" jewelry-- be it actual gold or writing, or whatever else you don't use, but feel has too much value to truly throw away. Take a careful look, at let your imagination lead the way. It may glitter for you in the new year.

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