My coffee this morning leaves something to be desired. That something is the customary mug from which I drink. I broke that mug this morning, along with an elderly soup bowl and a small porcelain bowl; the three of them waited in the kitchen sink for their turn in the dishwasher, which ran before dinner last night. As I rinsed the mug, its handle broke off, its body slamming down hard on the dishes below.
I’ve been thinking about the possibility of replacing the remaining soup bowls. They are part of a set, several members of which have succumbed to eating accidents and the like over the years. But I was not planning to replace my mug, nor the porcelain bowl that, in the right circumstances, is unmatched in its ability to accommodate and display wasabi awash in soy sauce.
Normally, I do not subscribe to the philosophy that certain circumstances were “meant to be.” However, I cannot help but think, on this last day of the year, the demise of those dishes may have been destiny. The time may have been right to cast those dishes into the dustbin of history, paving the way for a new set of dishes to ring in the new year.
As I consider this possibility, I cannot help but think of all the cheap t-shirts I have ruined over the past year by allowing stains to set, impossible to remove in spite of every effort. Perhaps, like the dishes, those ruinous stains were trying to tell me something: “For the love of God, man, buy better quality t-shirts!” Or, perhaps, they were saying, “T-shirts do not suit you, stud, it’s time to dress like an adult; get a stain-resistant shirt with buttons.”
Yet, it took those dishes, sacrificing their futures as they did, to finally set the stage for a new year, replete with unfamiliar bowls. And, if the soup bowls must be replaced, what about the other, smaller, bowls? That single porcelain bowl, what about it? Where will the wasabi and soy sauce go, after the destruction of their perfect setting?
The new year calls out for so many new things; new soup bowls, new cereal bowls, new porcelain wasabi and soy sauce bowl, and a new me. Would that I could simply go out and buy the latter, rather than re-mold it from the remnants of the old one.