Thursday, September 27, 2007

Heart's Ease

Stop Abuse

It's going on 15 years now; for the first five, he invaded my sleep and I would wake up struggling to breathe, the feeling of his hands on my throat more real than the 2500 miles I'd put between us. When I went, I left without a forwarding address. It seemed utterly unreal and dramatic; swearing my family and friends to secrecy and taking off for the opposite side of the country. I'd never lived more than 25 miles from where I was born, and suddenly I'd multiplied that by 100.

It took me ten years to leave. Looking back, there were warning signs, but they were easily explained away. He always apologized; he never knew beforehand that I was going to get upset; he was just a bit clueless. He was frustrated at work, he wasn't getting anywhere, and he was always so sorry when he brought his anger home with him. He drank too much, but he was an easy drunk. He just fell asleep, and truth be told, I encouraged him to drink; he was happier when he drank. Usually. And on the occasions when he wasn't, it was easy for me to understand. He was drunk. He didn't know what he was doing.

He never knew what he was doing, not even the night he sat on my stomach, pinned my arms to the bed with his knees, put his hands around my throat, and squeezed. He was screaming. I could not understand a word he was saying. That was what bothered me the most; I was going to die and I didn't know what I'd done to deserve it. Our dog knocked him off and saved my life. He swore he was asleep, having a nightmare about being attacked, and I wanted to believe him. He'd always walked and talked in his sleep, and he was quite horrified at what had happened. When the nightmare returned a few weeks later, bearing a large kitchen knife, I finally woke up.

After I left, I overcompensated by being hyper-sensitive to anything that reminded me of him; I still have buttons that get pushed from time to time. I'm working on that. Getting out was the best, and hardest, thing I ever did. I'm proud of that.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Necklace; sterling silver, sapphires, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Moonstone Beach

The moonstones that once littered the beach were long gone; perhaps they had never been here in great numbers, but she preferred to think that they had. It wasn't beach weather today; the fog was heavy and wet and the sea was surly. There wasn't much warmth coming from the sand, either. But she was dressed for it; the sweatshirt under her windbreaker kept her comfortably warm. She actually preferred the beach on days like this; except for a dog who was sniffing some seaweed, she had the whole bay to herself.

As she walked, she looked hopefully for moonstones; perhaps the wind had shifted the sands and there were some left after all.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, moonstone. Hand fabricated setting and chain.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Promises, Promises

"Yeah, sure, Mom," Lyndie said, fingers crossed behind her back, only feeling a little guilty about her deception. She only did it when her mom was being totally over-protective; sometimes it felt as though her mom thought she was five years old. She was fifteen! Old enough to know who to hang out with. Old enough to pick her own friends. How pathetic did her mom think she was, anyway?

She hurried off to the bus stop; just like her mom to make her late with her little talk. As she approached the corner, she saw a cop talking to her new group of friends . . . whoa, what was up with that? Her best friend since kindergarten grabbed her and pulled her off to the side. "Bus-ted!" Karen whispered. "I'm so glad you were late this morning!"

"Me, too," Lyndie said, fingers open wide.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, peridot. Hand fabricated sterling silver chain, bead and clasp.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I could see the light reflecting off the leaves long before I could see its source. The forest floor was still dark, but the canopy was beginning to glow as if lit from within. It was more than just my eyes becoming accustomed to the darkness; although that was happening, too.

Ahead I saw an owl glide between trees; his eyes were sharper than mine, his hunger greater, his dinner closer and more frightened than mine. I closed my eyes against the sharp squeal of his prey; when I opened them, the moon was there, full of light and reassurance.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver and corundum. Hand fabricated.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hidden Fire

It always surprised her to hear people describe her as calm and sensible; she wasn't a bit, and she knew it. But she cultivated it; oh, how she cultivated it. Inside, her temper slashed and burned; she raged against injustice, and wiped out legions with her fury. This battle did not show not on her face; her lips hinted at a smile, always, and her brow was still smooth, even at her age. Her shoulders were relaxed and her stride easy; her voice well modulated and pleasant.

But her eyes gave her away; they flashed with the fire that never left her heart.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Gold, gold-filled, sterling silver, Mexican fire opal in matrix. Hand fabricated.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lime Rickey

She perched on the stool, crossed her ankles delicately, and said, "Lime Rickey, please," when the counterman appeared in front of her. He winked, and she gave him an icy glare.

He set her drink down with a flourish, and she busied herself with it; pretending that she was drinking a real cocktail at the Jockey Club in Manhattan, instead of this overly sweet version at a drugstore in North Hollywood. In her mind's eye, her pale pink twin sweater set and matching skirt turned into a black cocktail dress - Dior's New Look - and the counterman's shaker left off making milkshakes, and switched over to martinis.

She inclined her head gracefully as literary critics congratulated her on her latest novel.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated.

In private collection

Friday, September 7, 2007

Hugs and Kisses

"Dear Mom, " she read, and the tears poured down her face so fast and hard that she could not even see what came next. Where did that come from? She had been haunting the mail box for days; she was now on a first name basis with the postman. When he'd handed her this letter, you would have thought he'd written it himself, his smile was so wide. She'd had enough self control to thank him, walk into the house, and sink into her favorite chair before ripping the envelope open.

And now here she was, unable to stop crying long enough to read it. It wasn't a long letter, and her eyes were able to focus on a large row of letters above the signature: XOXOXOXOXOXOXO. She smiled; rubbed her eyes dry, and read the PS, "I made 'em big 'cause I knew you'd be crying."

College would not be wasted on her son.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper. Hand fabricated.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fairy House

I'd never found one, though I always looked; even long after I stopped believing in fairies, I still looked. Every wild thicket, every vine that ran rampant held the possibility of hiding a fairy's tiny, intricate house. Would it be woven of pine needles and twigs and bound together with the stamens from flowers? Would fairies use sap and leaves to make their roofs tight? Would she be home, twinkling opal and gold in her tiny doorway?

I never found out, but I still wonder; and now, when I walk with my daughter, she looks for me.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, emerald chips, tourmaline, opal, gold filled beads. Hand fabricated.