The only reason I bought them was because they were on sale.  These small gemstones I keep in a blue velvet pouch in my pocket or around my neck, on a silver chain that once held a crucifix. 

I'm not very religious.  In fact, it's the beginning of Lent and I'm not trying too hard to abstain.  I didn't grow up Catholic, but I always went to Catholic school.  There were crosses in our classrooms, not clocks or windows.  I'm pretty laissez-faire when it comes to belief, but I'm opportunistic when it comes to my faith.  I can't abstain from the things that make me happy, like swearing when I stub my toe or thinking impure thoughts when the mood hits me.  Instead, I bargain with God to try my best.  In that way, I'm probably not the religious expert one would expect me to be, having studied religious art at the Vatican almost four years ago now.

I believe in energy and restrictions.  A balance of chore and allowance.  I believe that we can leave marks on others and those marks can be cancerous.  I believe in damnation.  I believe in gluttony, too.  I don't believe in any sort of salvation vis a vis starvation.  I believe in the power of symbols, the power of intent imprinted onto letters, crosses, stones.  I think we get confused sometimes (I get confused more often than most).

There's been a shift in me lately.  A tug between my normal, negative self and a liberating desire to be positive.  A need, really.  In the past, I have had small bouts of depression, tempered with a sense of inadequacy.  Over the last year, I've realized how silly I have been.  How small those emotions are and how big the picture is.  I'm projecting these emotions on small stones, earth-made and anxiety-worn.  

I wish I could remember their names.  I know I'm wearing a ring of hematite, that I pray for more love with the rose quartz.  There's one for creativity and one for success.  I bathed in sage to cleanse them and myself.  I've worn them to bed every night.  

I know this kind of ritual won't last.  I understand that there is a fad to this kind of thinking.  But anything is better than sitting at night and wondering how many Valium there are left in a pill bottle that doesn't have my name on it.  I like the comfort of putting the intention on myself and that maybe, just maybe, I won't be damned forever.