I’ve noticed most of my recent posts have been negative. I’m really not a negative person, I just have the bad habit of letting the positive things slide and calling out the negative. So I’m going to share something soft and mushy and personal (and probably corny to some of you).

There are many personal beliefs/philosophies I hold and this is just one of them. I’ve been contemplating this one for only a couple of years, but in the spirit of sharing something positive…

Though I obviously like having experiences and others tell me how much I’m going to enjoy my travel experiences (once I’m removed from the daily headaches of it); so far my life experiences are not what I think about when I have alone-time. My thoughts turn to people. This shouldn’t be surprising given my natural inclination to the service industry (I waitressed long before I entered sex work).

If the world is my oyster, then people are pearls. I have my own little collection of pearls. Some I think about on a daily basis, some only when I sit and contemplate my oyster. I rarely sit and count my blessings — there’s always a feeling of “never enough” (a lot of that is due to personal ambition). There are always plenty of pearls though. I visualize holding the pile in my hand; that pearly-ivory color, luminous, each a miniature globe in its own right.

Who are pearls? People that I love, people that I’ve met and have remained in my memory for whatever reason. Clients — in fact, a lot of clients. People who have impacted me negatively aren’t here. Unless I’m dealing with them, they fade into the background unless something sparks the memory of them. More than likely, some fade away entirely (but since I can’t recall them, how do I know?). The pearls in my hand are all the same size and quality, there is no difference in the physical representation to me. The quality of the memories are different, of course. But then, that the person is a pearl means something to me anyway whether we have a long history or just a short moment in time.

I don’t “own” these pearls. They live in my oyster (which I don’t own either). They’re there for me to find and remember — regardless of whether the actual person is alive, dead, far away or someone I only met once years ago. There is not an endless supply, though the imaginary pile in my hand will be much, much bigger years from now – which is something I look forward to. Nor does it matter to me if I remain in their memory at all. These are my pearls in my oyster. I can’t go digging around in someone else’s oyster.

When all the pearls in my oyster are transferred one by one to my hand, I put them back in the oyster to be found again next time. I’ve always loved the part in Harold and Maude when he gives her an engagement ring and she throws it into the ocean so she always knows where it is. My pearls are in my oyster; I always know where they are.

Take what you will from this. An email exchange with one of my pearls prompted me to write this post. I don’t take any lessons or morals from this. I simply like to sit and count my pearls sometimes. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less.

I don’t go through life looking for pearls; I don’t meet someone and say to myself “They’re a pearl!” Someone is a pearl if they appear in my oyster when I open it up. That how I know.

PS: Please do not embarrass either of us by asking if you’re a pearl. Just don’t. Find your own oyster, open it up and see who is inside.

16 thoughts on “counting my pearls

  1. Bravo, Very well said. Made me think about people from long ago who i miss or had placed in a far away memory. Thanks.

  2. Spot on Amanda. Life has a habit of throwing a lot of “stuff” at you and some of it can be quite unpleasant, but it’s amazing how many times when you have to deal with this “stuff” you find a pearl that not only restores your faith, but also makes you feel quite humble. Often these pearls crop ip in very unexpected places so you should always keep an open mind and an open heart to let them in

  3. Jeb,

    Thank you! Counting my pearls is an exercise in memory and often gratitude.


    Yeah, it was mushy. I hope your braclet grows into a triple-strand necklace soon.


    Indeed. Counting my pearls is often done during those hard times and yes, often I find surprising new ones during these times.


    It wasn’t when I was growing up, but thank you! 🙂


    Thank YOU!


  4. That wasn’t corny at all~!

    I have a similar sort of mentality when it comes to people or experiences I have, though I call it something else (“sentimental graffiti”— that’s considerably more corny!).

    Either way, they’re a nice comfort. Like snapshots of good memories and good experiences that you’ll carry with you and you can think back on for the time you had them around (and for me, like getting to admire old beautiful graffiti that was left long ago).

  5. Bee,

    It’s hard to express the more tender emotions without sounding corny, so I’m glad you like this!

    Yes, it’s a way of memory that can’t be stolen or lost or anything, which is what makes it so valuable. I like your image of graffitti too!


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