I’ve been taking pottery classes this past year, and a few weeks ago, as I was finishing up a mug, I told my teacher I wasn’t going to put a handle on it.
“Are you sure?”
I didn’t explain my rationale to him, mostly because I thought it might seem too weird.
You see, I’ve been drinking my morning coffee from a handleless mug for over a decade now, ever since one of my winter retreats in New Mexico.
One evening I was sitting in my room reading a book of poetry by Rumi when, for no apparent reason, the books on the shelf over the fireplace shifted and knocked the mug I’d brought with me onto the floor. It was a sturdy mug and survived the fall, or so I thought. I went over to pick it up and when I lifted it by the handle, the handle broke off.
It felt like one of those waking dream moments when outer circumstances mirror inner realities, because on that retreat, which came at an especially tumultuous time in my life, I’d been doing some challenging inner work that had to do with letting go. I was being asked to release some things that were precious to me, things that felt core to my identity and essential to what I perceived as my reason for being. Letting go of them felt like a death.Continue Reading