(I made some things and had some thoughts)
When I was younger, yes wasn't a problem. I would try any which way, drug, up and down, boyfriend, and lucid experience I could get my hands on. Emotions were just other drugs that had less illicitness, my partaking in them groomed by the movies I watched and the women I saw laughing and eating salad.
Sometimes my past yes's haunt me, usually with their fervour and idealism. Yes I will go to art school. Yes I will be an Artist. Over years they fold into themselves until what was expected is now thick with complexity and the dullness of reality. In my weaker moments I wish to go back and temper my former self, stop her continual flow of yes's and bring her - like in The Truman Show - to the edge of the world, to show her that the world does have borders, and that she will hit one one day.
But now, my right mind knows I would rather let her barge on forth through life, to collect twigs in her hair and scars on her shins. I am grateful for my early rebellion, my yes apocalypse. Whilst it has brought unease, it has also found me good people, an ever-opening mind and a lot of photos I've since untagged.
People talk a lot of the regret of not saying yes, but for me it's the unsaid nos's, the other side of yes, that are the moments which will be most turned over. A sleepless 3am is the prime period for these no's, which line themselves up in glass jars under my bed, whispering their consequence. Over time they are slowly smoothed out like river stones with each time my thoughts pass over them.
I'm proud to say, I'm adding less unsaid no's to the river now. I've started to appreciate my own power to say no. These day my no's are synonymous with my appreciation for myself and my finite resources. No I do not want your number. No I can't come to the party. No I am not ashamed of spending hours watching formulaic, heart-string-pulling talent show auditions and crying in my bedroom. My no's used to be tagged along by a mouthful of sorry's, but now my no needs no explanation, no consolation, my no needs nothing but for me to say it.
I am very humbled to get to make these rings with Corin Adams, first and foremost, for his amazing technical ability - he carved these under a microscope - but also for his appreciation and understanding of the complexities of these words. His patience with these words, in our relationship, and in the way he navigates the world, is a splendour to watch.
And despite my thoughts, I don't want these objects to be prescriptive. I want the owners to attach whatever they need to to them. I hope they serve as a reflection on what we say yes and no to, and that they empower you in whichever choice you make.
The YES / NO rings are now available for purchase at Corin Adam's website. If you want to get one before Christmas, get in quick.