A short pile of small ceramic cups fell on my counter, shattering in irreconcilable little pieces.
One of them, the tallest, was already a patched-up ceramic cup glued together. I had relished in my little experiment in kintsugi, the Japanese art of rendering objects even more precious by mending them with golden seams. This one had thin lips, a discreet tactile pleasure I have always enjoyed, which is why I held onto the single unit for so long. The seams became coffee stained, my morning ritual sealing a prior accident in the past.
There was a twin set of bi-colored chunkier ones made by my friend Nana. Off-white on the outside, and swirled shades of cerulean and gray inside. I will miss these best of all, because I have no clue when I’ll be able to make it home and screech a high pitched hello, before Nana and I throw our arms around each other. The thought of a ribcage to ribcage hug with a childhood friend rings through my chest and wafts off into an expedited oblivion.
I can’t tell if I have become klutzier or if it is the paltriness of noteworthy events that has made these banal domestic mishaps more noticeable, but the fact is my kitchen has taken a hit.
I thought my counter was sturdy, its stone surface unassailable. Now, staring at the constellation of nicks, chalky winks, makes me think that solidity is an overpromise, and the breakable objects remind me that collisions leave all parties marked by the surface encounter. My cooking prep area is now bound to hold onto tiny particles of food, as I figure out how to become handy.
Flower vases, baking tray lids, wine glasses.
Slipped and shattered.
Perhaps mourned, none replaced.
Absence too is an event.
Some things have to be scarred before we can feed off their resilience.
4 thoughts on “Klutzing While Isolated”
What a beautiful piece, Karen! The whole think resonates deeply. I love the lines about the cracks in the cups with the coffee-stained seams. I’m going to be looking at my kitchen in a new way.
Muchas gracias, Rodrigo. Un abrazo.
Karen, what a lovely meditation on fragility & temporality in a time of ineffable but deeply shared solitude.
I really loved the line “Absence too is an event.” A poetic and much needed reminder.
Thanks, Rebecca. I have really appreciated your entries as well.