How much love does a lanyard hold?

Over the weekend I was reminded of Billy Collins, the former Poet Laureate of the United States, whose work I was introduced to several years back at an International Arts Movement conference in NYC. There I listened closely and laughed loudly as Collins shared The Lanyard, a witty poem that reawakened my then-dormant love of poetry. If you haven’t heard his recitation (or even if you have), I suggest pausing for a few minutes to enjoy.

Collin’s poem strikes a chord in a very pure, childlike part of my being. Having been a die-hard summer camper for many of my pre-teen and young adult years, I had the joy of making many a’ lanyard; I recall florescent, human-shaped figurines being my speciality. In addition to the enticing selection of brightly colored plastic threads, I loved the repetitiveness of the craft, the focus it required, and the calm it created. And the finished products…what priceless collectibles…

I think Billy Collins, in a silly seriousness or perhaps a serious silliness, poses a great question: are little trinkets like these worth treasuring, or should they get sent out with the next load of trash? Truly, how much love does a lanyard hold?

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