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.
7 thoughts on “Mugs & Metaphors”
There is something so very universal about your post. Just like our junk drawers, our plastic food storage collections, we have the mug cabinets that always seem to overflow, defying any attempts we might make to thin the herd. How powerful and profound it is that you took the time to find some deeper meaning and connection in these under-appreciated objects in our lives. It reminds me to recognize the under-appreciated MOMENTS and PEOPLE in our lives. Thanks for this thoughtful slice.
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I’m struck by the image of cabinets overflowing with mugs. This feels friendly, like there is always space for one more. A metaphor of “the more the merrier” reflected in your kitchen. Lovely.
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I love you.
I also feel you on the tired of waiting for this to be all over. Funny enough, I have also been slowly paring down my coffee cup collection, which has outgrown its designated cupboard, flowing almost uncontrolled over the rest of the kitchen.
I have not returned to the space of crying, instead I find that I am increasingly annoyed and anxious, as if I have a constant underlying rash that is not enough to scratch uncontrollably, just under my skin letting me know that it is there…I will return to inertia at some point, but as I am driven right now, I must heed the momentum while it is here.
I miss you so much it is palpable.
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I miss you, too…
How thankful I am that I saw your name and found your post. It reads with a warmth that resonates from surface to core. I appreciate the gentility of your approach to mugs and the richness that rounds out the meaningful metaphors.
Here are a few of my favorite lines:
“Sometimes, it is simply a stinging paper-cut, but others are lacerations that will undoubtedly scar.”
“…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.”
And my favorite…
“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.”
I am compelled by your unspoken challenge to find metaphors in the mugs of my life or perhaps, someone else’s. After contemplating briefly, I think it would be this.
Though seemingly sturdy and amply designed for the tasks at hand, holding cold and hot beverages, all intended to soothe the somber, refresh the parched, relax the anxious, one must remember that these mugs must be treasured; delicately handled.
Like moments in our lifelong spectrum, they are to be appreciated for their uniqueness and celebrated for their distinct time; but, we must never forget, they are also fragile, easily broken if mishandled, intentionally or inadvertently. At times, they may feel crowding. Some may be put away; but, all should be remembered. They’ve each earned a spot in the fabric of our lives with lessons that we should never forget.
Thank you for sharing these lyrical thoughts. You’ve caused me to reconsider a subtlety that I’d not yet fully appreciated. May you find many soft spaces in between. #mugsandmetaphors
With Warmest Regards,
There are definitely mugs and metaphors. I purposely pick up the same ones dependent on my needs (the coffee is always the same). Bet you can guess which ones. Love your words, Mom
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Yes to this! It’s funny how the everyday objects we use hold so many memories and associations for us.