Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Long-Running Poem Series About the Spring of 2006 Continues Today on Poetry Thursday

March 27, 2006
Friday morning

I did the dishes as usual
but didn’t happen to put them away
until Sunday
By then I had forgotten
what I thought I would remember
that I had nested my favorite periwinkle bowl
(for eating pasta with nutmeg, parmesan and spinach
on Thursday nights while Bill is at class)
under the large metal saucepan
(for making said pasta)
on the dish drainer

So yesterday
I pulled the pot off the rack
by its handle
without realizing there was anything underneath
thereby knocking the bowl into the sink
where it broke into two large and three small pieces

It hurts when that happens
I try not to let it
to be stoic and unattachedto tell myself it’s stupid
to care so much for material things
But how much I liked the object
its shape and color and feel
its associations
(bought on my twenty-ninth birthday in the rain)
and my frustration with how frequently
such things happen to me
inevitably wins out

I cried on Bill’s neck for a while
and found myself feeling shaky for a while longer
In the end I decided to glue the bowl
as the pieces were fitting together pretty neatly
with only a few chips here and there missing

There is a second part to this story
over the weekend I was also reading something
about the Japanese concept of wabi sabi
Which I’d heard of before and which has vaguely appealed to me
despite its faint air of woo-woo trendiness
This author made a connection between the emotional state
of feeling both happy and sad at the same time
and the philosophy of loving that which you know to be transient
even as it bears the marks of that transience
And that fit so perfectly with my experience in the end

Learning to see the beauty
in the broken and repaired
not in spite of
but because of

image source is here 
(though my own bowl, which I still have and eat from all these many years later, is much more beautiful)


  1. I am a keen follower of the Wabi Sabi concept and love the idea of worn and shabby pieces, not quite perfect, but full of hand made character. I mended a treasured blue and white cup, I have had for many years, instead of throwing it out and how have a chain of hearts growing in it.

  2. Sashiko--i love that. i read somewhere that sometimes in Japan broken ceramics are mended with glue mixed with gold leaf--so the cracks show up prominently and glitter with gold. amazing. xo b