Shells in a Round Brass Box

Toronto, ON/Nias Island, Indonesia

The shells are from Nias Island in Indonesia. My boyfriend and I were there, having taken a year off university to travel. It was a true paradise, but I was only 19 and actually rather unhappy. The island has some of the largest waves in the world. One day, I almost snapped my spine swimming in some of them. I had never felt so vulnerable before. My boyfriend did not understand.

I keep the shells in a round brass box another boyfriend gave me when I was living in Paris. He was a gangster, really. The box had probably fallen off a truck. I received many nice presents while with him, but the lifestyle was not great. The shells and the box are heavy with many more memories. My son has them now, on the dresser in his bedroom.