Costco is always a madhouse on Sundays, but our provisions were running low.
My boyfriend and I drove our two carts single file through the hoards of fellow consumers. We’d nearly completed our circuit when we passed the jewelry section. I glanced ahead to make sure he wasn’t looking and slowed the cart down to a slow creep so I could admire the diamond rings.
I didn’t want anyone to see me scrutinizing the ostentatious bling. The best deal in the case was $5,999! I’d never spend that much money nor want anyone to spend that much money on me.
I have a blue band tattooed on my ring finger from my first marriage.
The summer we got married, we were living in a trailer. Midweek we went to the courthouse and exchanged vows that we didn’t write and signed papers in front of a judge we didn’t know. Then we went downtown and ate sushi, drank sake, and got tattooed. It hurt a lot, especially in the elusive webbing between the fingers.
I remember thinking that if the ring was symbolic of our marriage, it was going to be painful. We paid 50 dollars in cash for the permanent rings and stumbled into the burning night as a married couple.
When our marriage failed, people asked me if I was going to have the tattoo laser-removed. Never—I’d never even considered it. Young love cannot be erased, not by procedure, separation, or divorce.
There are some reminders that I want to have, and this is one of them; the pain and the charm of my ring are intertwined. Plus, I don’t want to remarry again at this point in my life. I love my independence—my becoming. I have two children from that union, and I am grateful.
So why am I secretly looking at diamond rings?
When I took refuge, I was given the name Rinchen during a Tibetan Buddhist ceremony. My name translates as “Precious Gem.” Maybe I am like a diamond, formed over six-million-years of extreme ancestral conditioning.
My meditation teacher instructs, “short glances, many times.” Cut through the unclear, get to the center of it all, polish the stone of your being, and reflect that light.
I search for traces of the immaterial and transcendent in the material and immediate world. My children are a constant presence and reminder of what is possible. They encircle my life just as my tattoo encircles my finger. They are so utterly real and so utterly full of potential—all the time.
So, I gaze at the diamonds and long for my complete grace. And thus do diamonds and tattoos end up being just the same.