Wooden, glass, ceramic, stone. So many colours – reds, teals, purples. Round, flat, cylindrical, ridged, irregular, oval. Coral, turquoise lapis lazuli, shaped and hammered silver and brass.They slip through my fingers, larger than grains of sand but similarly fleeting. I am searching through a bowl of beads, looking for the next one to add to my string.

On the radio this morning I hear Borodin’s Overture to Prince Igor, and I think of Kismet. Then I remember ‘Baubles, bangles, bright shiny beads’, my favourite tune from that show, also lifted from Borodin – the string quartet no. 2 in D. I decide that when I type this up, I will listen to the quartet and the song. When it comes to choosing the version that suits my mood, I can’t choose between the quartet and Sinatra. I’ll keep them both.

I like the feel of beads in my hands, their coolness, hard, smooth, unyielding to my grip.  I like the sound of one landing on another as it travels down the fine fishing line of my bracelet-in-the-making or along the rough red yarn or old shoelaces that held the clunky, bright wooden beads  selected and strung together by my children when toddlers.

Perhaps what I like best about beads is that they are materials for making, for stringing together things unlike and unlikely, side by side.


What is Present, not precious?

This entry was posted in Kidstuff, Music and art, Present, not precious - November 2016 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to beads

  1. Alan Nance says:

    Hi Melissa
    Well, I regard myself as a big Jobim fan, and have lots of his music at home, but not this tune, so thanks. Thanks, also, for the Borodin, which is new to me. Your words were good, too!


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