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[Tidbits] Tyler-Baba and the Forty Rings


The year: A time in an incredibly distant past.

A long long time ago–while Tyler-Baba’s distant fifth cousin (Ali)
thrice removed through marriage to a girl of lower class to which
his parents strongly objected because of her connection to a street
gang that called itself The Forty Thieves–Tyler decided in a heady
moment of recklessness to become a jeweler. Not yet quite sure which
direction in the world of jewelry to take … Tyler-Baba began to
read up on the subject … and he began with rings … and this is
what he found:

A ring, began a tome, is a circular thing and because it has no
beginning and no end it represents wholeness and eternity and
endlessness of time. This little Tidbit excited Mr. Baba’s son no
end … and so Tyler-Baba read on. The ring is a binding symbol
which protects the wearer against evil and is often worn by married
couples for its protective powers. These rings are quaintly enough
called Wedding Rings.

From continent to continent continued the tome which was obviously
written by a world traveler … children are protected from
malicious spirits by encircling their wrists with rings of string.
The author of this piece extrapolates by conjecturing that these
bits of string around the wrist would ultimately lead some
enterprising spirit-- perhaps even Mr. Baba himself–to creating
rings of gold for the wrist.

Women in labor were to never take off their wedding rings a learned
article warned … for if they did they would run the risk of having
demons and witches and other nefarious beings gain power over them.
In certain parts of the world … when one died … a brass ring
would be tied to one’s arm before burial in order to ensure
protection against ghosts.

I digress. Is there one amongst you who would misguidedly believe
that the purpose of wearing jewelry is solely decorative as opposed
to being totally utilitarian? Of course not. That would be daft.

Should a Chinese emperor send you a ring … it was a summons to
court. Should the ring be broken … you were banished from the
land. The ring … Tyler-Baba began to realize … truly made for a
wondrous piece of jewelry. Of course … the question arose … how
many rings does one need in order to ensure total protection from
those of the netherworld who would threaten one’s peace and harmony.
Alas … though Tyler-Baba did become a jeweler of some note in his
community … he was never able to solve the answer to this
perplexing poser. This would be left to someone else.

The year: 1988. Wendy Ramshaw is inspired by a painting of Picasso’s
entitled: The Dream. She makes a set of forty rings thereby
answering the question that tormented the now long deceased
Tyler-Baba. These rings are made of gold and set with garnet and
sapphire and moonstone and tourmaline and labradorite and amethyst.
They are a sight to behold for I am sure there are few of you who
would thing of buying a single set of rings constituting forty
separate pieces. For those of you whose imagination may now begin
running amuck wondering how to wear the whole set on one finger and
how long does that finger have to be … be assured that the set may
be distributed among the many available digits one has privy to …
thereby enhancing one’s prestige in the community as well as
assuring one’s protection against malevolent demons. What more can
one ask for in life?

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits Graphics … and then click on the link that says: 40 …
where you’ll see an image of a 20th century set of 40 Ring by Wendy

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

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