What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

chipped cup

on April 19, 2014

Beauty and usefulness are our standards for retaining a thing in the WIST household. Generally, either knowing something to be useful or believing it to be beautiful are sufficient. Tonight, however, I want to shed a cup that’s gotten chipped, and it presents a quandary. The damage isn’t so bad we can’t use it, but it has lost its beauty in my eyes.

I’m not sure why that is. I know that sometimes we’re pleased to have our expectations of symmetry satisfied, and other times we want what surprises. And often we take them together, like the dissonant notes before the resolution of the chord. That might be part of why many items become more beautiful to me as their initial perfection fades. I love how the finish and fittings on Slowjourner Truth, my touring and commuting bicycle, offer a visible record of the many miles we’ve traveled. Slow isn’t factory-perfect, but he’s real. That doesn’t work, however, in the case of the cup.

Maybe it’s that there’s no story to the chip. The piece just fell away one day, and now there’s a slightly sharp edge there I want my lips to avoid. Well, enough aesthetics and ethics—it’s in no condition to give away, so I’ll break it into shards and use them to improve drainage in the bottom of a planter. Now there’s a use.

Fox: "Why are you putting chipped crockery beside my perfection?"

Fox: “Why are you putting chipped crockery beside my perfection?”

shedding style: re-purpose
destination: bottom of a planter

Comments welcome … what do you think about that constellation of beauty and usefulness?


One response to “chipped cup

  1. Mark says:

    It always amazes me when giving up such little things can feel like such brave acts. Why is that?

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