I have always possessed a kind of knapsack, if nothing more than a piece of cloth or skin tied in a knot. My sack, worthy comapanion, produces, when opened, a world defined by its contents — fluxion, unique, beloved.
This uncommon bundle has always been my comfort, my happy burden. Yet I have found it unwise to attach myself to the souvenirs within. For as soon as I focus on a certain object I misplace it or it just disappears.
I had a ruby. Imperfect, beatiful like a faceted blood. It came from India where they wash up on the shore. Thousands of them — the beads of sorrow. Little droplets that somehow became gems gathered by beggars who trade them for rice. Whenever I stared into its depths I felt overcome, for caught within my little gem was more misery and hope than one could fathom.
Ur Woolgathering/Patti Smith