The time has come… part III- jealousy and rings

One ring to rule them all. What is a ring? In my paper on the symbolism of modern weddings I am briefly examining the modern abstraction of the ring. I take the ring off my finger and lay it on the table next to me. My finger feels naked without it, eveen though I have only been wearing it for a couple of months.
The ring is gold. I know this because it doesn’t leave green marks on my finger, and because of the little number printed on the inside of the ring. It is light, and makes a delicious sound when placed on a hard surface. Although it is light and delicate it seems to also be indestructable. I know this is not true. Gold has a relatively low melting point compared to other metals. How did it get its shape in the first place?
Shape. It is perfectly round. Japanese monks spend a lifetime trying to draw a perfect circle. No, they do not try. Perhaps they try in the beginning, but eventually they learn to let go of the trying and to allow a circle to express itslef through them. I never finished that story- do they succeed? Can perfection be obtained? A circle is mathematical. Goldsmiths have moulds that have been designed by computers. They can make a perfect circle. The ring really has no beginning and no end. It hardened into existence complete.
The stamp tells me the value of the gold. Its purity. I have no idea how to read the stamp. Purity and value are foreign languages to me. I would rather wrap my tongue around whispered “I love you”s than to spend my time learning the symbols of every jeweller. I have no idea how to buy a ring.
It is his mother’s ring. A symbol of family, that he handed to me. I took it with a cuirious furrow of the brow aand chewed on it for over a week before I burst with the question of whether he knew what that means to a girl. He knew.
Now we are getting rings of our own. His will return to his mother. My mother is bringing my grandmother’s ring. It is another symbol of family. It is also a symbol of lasting, as my grandparent’s marriage lasted until death did them part. It feels very different than the symbol of his family, and part of me wants to have a symbol of our family. But heirlooms are made through generations, not on arbitraty whims of the now.
The ring means forever. It is a sign of ownership, like the peircings and collars of slaves. It is a sign of fidelity. It is a sybol of wealth. It is so mixed up in history and society that I am uncertain how I actually feel about it.
We decided to get tattoos instead of rings. Tattoos are forever. You can not take them off. When a marriage ends and the ring is removed there is a period of aa tanline, perhaps, but it fades. We do not want the possibility of fading. Forever is something to be taken seriously.
Most of all, rings are a symbol of the modern christian monogamy. I am not a christian and neither is he, but he tells me that I am his only and I believe that he honestly is monogamous to the core. I wonder if that will change in time, and I want, most of all, to let him blossom without corruption. The thing is that he put the ring on my finger and he called me his, and he did so without the slightest hint of jealousy. How can a person be possessed without jealousy? What is possession? The modern feminist argues that we are all our own and no one can be possessed. Cyrano took ownership to mean a responsibility to the other. “The things you own end up owning you,” is not far from the truth. So then, possession, the naming of something or someone as yours, is really a surrender to the desire to care for them, and take responsibility for them. It has nothing to do with jealousy and status. That came later. Love begets possession, and it feels beyond great to be possessed.

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