The mug is broken

You drop your favorite mug. The handle breaks. It’s a clean break, so you grab some glue and dab it on, let it dry, and your mug is good as new again. You can’t even tell it was ever broken.

This time, you drop your favorite mug and it’s not such a clean break. Instead of just the handle, the mug breaks into four or five pieces. You try to glue it back together. It looks good, but it doesn’t hold water so well anymore, slowly leaking through the smallest cracks. So you repurpose it, you put it on the shelf so you can still admire it every day. It still lives on.

Now imagine that same coffee mug. It has taken a plunge from seven feet high onto the hard linoleum floor and broken into a hundred pieces. Chunks of porcelain here, flecks there. You can’t even tell where the pieces belong, they’re so broken.

Some pieces have to be thrown away because they have been so damaged from the fall, they can’t be saved. That leaves empty spaces in the mug, holes that cannot be filled. That means the mug has lost its purpose, because with all of those holes, the mug won’t be able to hold any water.

You make a wholehearted attempt at gluing the mug back together. You take your time, you glue the pieces back with precision. But as you’re trying to fix it, it breaks even more.  As you focus on putting the pieces together on one side, the pieces you glued on the other side are coming undone. Nothing seems to be coming together right. None of the pieces are fitting back together like they’re supposed to.

Then you realize there’s too much missing, too much irreparable damage done. You can’t save that mug, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much time you take, no matter how much patience you have. It’s all a fruitless effort. You need to give up on it. It needs to be thrown away.

Because even if you spent all the time in the world gluing that mug back together piece by piece, there’s not any glue in the world that could ever make it whole again.

I cannot be whole again.

11 thoughts on “The mug is broken

  1. Hello KJ,

    I respect your analogy. Reading your words, I wonder how you define being whole. I think you will come to a place of claiming your singular and plural identity.

    I also respect your need(s) to mourn all that has been taken from you.



    Liked by 2 people

  2. With great respect and care, I want to tell you that the mug is a poor analogy. It’s an object. You are a living being, and like every living being, you continually build new cells that replace the old ones. The new cells can mend broken parts. The new cells can breathe fresh nutrients into the wounded parts. Mending you is not fruitless, and you don’t need to be thrown away.

    You have suffered so much, too much. You have been both physically and metaphorically broken. It’s a crime, literally. And I’m terribly, terribly sorry. I wish I could erase it. But I just can’t agree that it’s all hopeless. I have already seen so many amazing accomplishments from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes it’s hard for me to acknowledge the difference…I feel like I am existing, but not that I am living.

      Thank you, though. I understand what you’re saying, and when I’m not in a dark place, I would actually agree. Hopelessness makes everything look pointless.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s