Carolyn Wing Greenlee

Two Names, One Life

It’s Daddy’s birthday. I didn’t remember until I was writing the story of the new black and white necklace I finished this morning. It’s the only one so far with two names.

I wanted to make a black and white necklace—small white cubes alternating with narrow black spacer beads. To my dismay, I ran out of narrow spacer beads before the necklace was long enough. Length is an important factor since I’m still struggling with not being able to put clasps on the ends. I have friends who are willing to help, but they still have to come over to do the deed. That can mean weeks of waiting. Rather than being stalled out with unfinished pieces cluttering the table, I have been tying the ends, making sure the necklace is long enough to slip over the head.

When I ran out of the narrow beads, I decided to alternate the white cubes with black cubes. The black cubes were wider than the spacer beads. Since I had only a few white cubes left, the added width of the black cubes provided the necessary length. As I strung the beads, I thought of my dad, who never let a shortage of anything stop him. Then the word that characterized him came to mind. “Ingenuity”—that would be the name of this new necklace. Then these words dropped into my head: Not everything is black & white. That was my dad too. Whereas Mom was black and white, one way only, nothing less, nothing more, nothing else, Daddy moved through colors we could not see. He was not limited to the obvious. He saw more. So I added one red bead amongst the interminable alternating black and white. That’s so like my dad. He definitely thought outside the cube.

This July 22, 2011, is the first of my father’s birthdays since 1915 that he has not been present on the earth, I commemorate and celebrate his life with a necklace with two names symbolizing his approach to life with a creation as unique as he. Daddy, you taught me well. Happy birthday.

black and white necklace with one red bead.
Ingenuity/Not Everything is Black & White


  1. Mary Holtz

    July 25, 2011 - 12:46 PM

    Dearest C,
    Cute necklace, love the red heart in there (bead).
    I was reminded of your dad and Dennis today as I was looking up the settings for scar tissue in the protocol book you and Dennis wrote. As the pages flipped by, I remembered your Dad seeing him very clearly and thinking about all the brilliance he brought to so many people, and then I opened your site up to take a peek and there he is!! Happy Birthday Dr wing, your work lives on! Thank you being the inspiration that changed my life!
    Love to you,

    • Carolyn

      July 25, 2011 - 9:01 AM

      Mary, you help me see them through your eyes. Brings tears to mine. Tomorrow we are burying Dennis’ urn. It’s been 10 months. Time for closure. I miss them both. Thank you for bringing them back through their work. It’s comforting to know neither of their lives were lived in vain.


  2. Mary E. Trimble

    July 23, 2011 - 6:17 AM

    Ingenious! You have the richness of both your parents from which to draw. I love the necklace. It looks inspired.

    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      December 15, 2011 - 4:55 PM

      boy, you make me smile! Thanks, Mary! You couldn’t have given me a nicer compliment. I love carrying the lessons of my parents into my creative projects. They also help guide my life. –Carollyn

  3. Jennifer

    July 22, 2011 - 11:09 PM

    I’m so glad your father was able to communicate with you on his birthday…xoxoxo

    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      December 15, 2011 - 4:53 PM

      It was certainly in my dad’s spirit that the inspiration came, but he, himself, has not communicated with me since right after his death. He’s happily in Heaven with my husband and my mom, and I wouldn’t wish him back to hang around this troubled earth. I look forward to seeing them all one day. In the meantime, all of them continue to influence, inspire, and bless me with what I leavened from their lives. Love to you, Jennifer, Carolyn

  4. Nancy Cardoza

    July 22, 2011 - 8:39 PM

    Dear Carolyn.
    YES ! Celebrating with you the wonderful memories of your father’s unique and gifted personality. So awesome you found the connection that links your ART with life, living, and lessons. Beautiful.

    • Carolyn Wing Greenlee

      December 15, 2011 - 4:50 PM

      Thanks, Nancy. You always “get it.” –C

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