December 29, 2010

It’s just a mug . . .

It’s just a mug isn’t it?  Glass, maybe ceramic, heated and blown into the shape of a cup. Then a handle, carefully crafted and affixed to the side of the cup ever so gently.  Moments later an artists brush would run across it’s surface.  Changing its dull facade to one full of life and color.  Later it will be covered with a protective gloss, wrapped, and boxed up for shipping.  Finally being placed on a shelf for the world to see.

Somehow it made it’s way to our cupboard.  Every morning it was filled with coffee that you had made.  Sometimes it carried hot tea to a flu ridden body.  It was there when I’d kiss you goodbye in the morning and there sitting on the shelf when I came home in the evening.  For years it stayed with us.  It sat on the table, half full, the morning you got sick.  While I sat beside you at the hospital, it sat at home on the table.  Coffee stains set deep into its surface.  returning home a few days later, I poured the cold coffee down the sink. Washed and placed back into the cupboard, just like you would have done.

You died later that week.  A shock to everyone.  I miss you so much.  This morning I went to retrieve the mug from the shelf, it slipped and shattered on the floor.  I sat there for an hour or so, playing with the broken clay.  Is it just a mug?  I see so much of myself in this shattered relic that lay on the floor.  Our love.  My love . . . stains my shattered heart.  I could sweep up the pieces and throw them away but the stains would still permeate it’s porous surface.  It is just a mug after all . . . isn’t it?


I can’t say exactly when this was written.  I know I was living on Tulip at the time, but to say where I was in life I would be guessing.  I do remember what triggered it was that I broke something and I was fascinated that the cross section revealed just how inset stains in a coffee cup could be.  When I swept up my mess it didn’t really get rid of the stains, just moved them to a different location.  I’m not overly proud of this one but I am amazed at how much emotional investment we’ll put in things or items that remind us of a loved one.  It’s as if we hold a trinket so dear as if to say that if we were to lose it that it would be like losing the person all over again.

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