The Blessing of Broken Dishes: A Lesson About Losing Things We Love
I often work as a Professional Organizer, helping people declutter their little messes. I learn a lot on that little job. I see how things represent people and am forever amazed how people become connected to the strangest things: pantyhose, flip-flops, even mismatched drinking glasses.
I’m not the most sentimental gal, but I collect Fiestaware. The brightly colored pieces make putting the dishes away less of a chore and more of a joy. One or two of the pieces are from my grandmother’s own collection and, though I rarely eat from them, I like opening my doors to my cabinet and seeing them there all nestled in amongst the rest of the pieces. Since she passed away, these few bowls have served as a daily special reminder of our connectedness.
Many years ago, a shelf that held much of my beautiful Fiestaware collection caved in and I found myself desperately trying to catch the dishes as they fell, rainbows-colored disks crashing around me.
Strangely, in that instant, I remembered all the smashing and crashing in my life. Broken teacups and broken hearts. I realized that when things break, a person has to make choices.
Initially, I wanted to try to Super-glue the smithereens together in an attempt to make imperfect things perfect again, but I learned long ago perfection is temporary, at best. I briefly considered taking the busted up pieces and trying to make some kind of mosaic out of all the funky colors and sharp edges, but who has time for that, really? Eventually, I got my broom and old green dustpan, swept everything up, vacuumed for good measure, and threw all the pieces-parts into the garbage.
Not everything can be saved.
After I cried a little, I decided I was like an ant whose home had just been knocked over by an unforeseen storm. And everyone knows what ants do; they rebuild. So I pretended that my collection had been cosmically revised and started collecting again. Losing the chartreuse platter was a bummer, but my grandmother’s pieces were spared and, for that, I was grateful.
I’m blessed to have a loving family and few good friends. And stuff, while we like to surround ourselves with it, is just filler.
Who would have thought I’d find so much in my daily dishes?
To what physical items are you connected?