Lately, I find myself crying. A lot. More than usual. Everything hurts. Everything cuts deep to the very center of my being and I wonder how I will possibly survive the latest wound. Sometimes, it is simply a stinging paper-cut, but others are lacerations that will undoubtedly scar. And then it all becomes too much. Too big.
So, I am done … not in a tragic swan song sort of way, but more in a immabeoverherehibernatinglikeabearuntilthisshitisover kind of way.
I read a piece this morning by a woman, musing over her coffee mugs. That was it. Simple musings about the mugs. She even had pictures. It was lovely. And simple. And present. Each mug had a story and each time she held it, the story came alive. It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Zora Neale Hurston and I wondered if, like the years that Hurston reflected upon, there are mugs that ask questions and mugs that answer?
I have been drinking coffee for as long as I can remember. I can still see my parents’ overflowing cabinet in the kitchen of my childhood, back when their mugs sat unassumingly side by side. My mother’s mugs still push the limits of her cabinet, but now they are all hers, gathered up from artisans and thoughtful gift-givers in the decades since their marriage finally crumbled. Moving through my life, there have been many cabinets (yes, all overflowing) and many mugs. Right now, a small, white one given to me by a former student sits at my elbow, in danger of being knocked to oblivion by a careless moment. No one mug stands out with its own story but they definitely have always had a presence in my life; I have always had an overflowing cabinet somewhere nearby.
I am sure that there is a metaphor hidden amongst my mugs. I am sure that if I stop and pay attention to the weight of the mug, the feel of the ceramic, the heat warming my hands, I will find the simplicity and the beauty. I am also sure that if I stop and look carefully at the sharp points that seem to be surrounding me these days, I just might see the softness in the spaces in between.