TASK: Describe a moment in your life where, like Marner, you have been horrified, shocked by the loss of something that has been desperately dear to you. (In Marner’s case, it was his gold).
Only last year, I was walking home when I felt around my neck to ensure my necklace was still there. I felt the reassuring presence of the gold chain, but the feeling that was most prevalent was horror, as I felt the absence of the green malachite heart pendant. My heart skipped a few beats, my palms started to sweat, my mind started to kick into overdrive and my normal calm breathing started to become desperate gasps, as I looked around frantically for the heart pendant. This necklace has been in my family for generations – it belonged to my great-grandmother and her daughter, my grandmother, had entrusted its care to me only a few years prior to this. This necklace had seen my great-grandmother through all her life, my grandmother throughout most of hers and here I was, 18 years old, and I had lost this priceless heirloom. As I stopped walking to take off my jacket, to make sure the pendant hadn’t merely fallen off and gotten lost amongst my clothing, I began to wonder, wonder where in the world the pendant had gotten to, where it had fallen off and why I hadn’t noticed before.
It was nowhere to be seen. So, I immediately began retracing my steps back through the busy suburb, my eyes glued to the ground, desperately scouting for a glint of gold and green so that all would be right in my world again. But it was nowhere to be found. Nowhere at all. There was nothing else for it now, except to go home and tell my mother that I had lost a beautiful family trinket. The malachite in it was also rare too, but that wasn’t the point. As I walked the rest of the way home, the emotions swirled around inside me. Shock. Despair. Horror. Anger. Disappointment. Sadness. Shame. After what felt like an eternity and, simultaneously, not nearly long enough, I arrived home and informed my mum of what had happened and she assured me that neither she, nor my grandmother, would think badly of me for losing the pendant. She then proceeded to tell me of all the priceless things she’d lost throughout the years, including some things that were passed down from my great-grandmother to her.
She did honestly make me feel better and, while I appreciated her trying to comfort me, I still felt all the things I did before. Most prevalent were the shock and horror over losing the malachite heart – it wasn’t supposed to happen, I wasn’t supposed to lose it in the streets, I was supposed to look after it, cherish it and maybe pass it along to my daughter one day. I knew that, in time, I’d get over it and move on, that these feelings inside me would pass but until that day came, I would still be shocked that I actually lost it, after promising and swearing I would look after it very carefully, and horrified that I allowed it to happen, that it fell through my grasp, like sand falling in between my fingers or sugar sifting through a sifter or like the thin gold chain the green malachite heart once used to rest on.