August 18, 2014

Is a Mug Just a Mug?

I like Gretchen Rubin's notion that our possessions influence our moods and atmosphere of our homes. And that austerity, or the lack of possessions, doesn't necessarily equal happiness for all people; that simplicity isn't the be all end all to contentment.
Cultivating my possessions, then, wasn't a simple matter of organization, elimination, or accumulation; it was a matter of engagement. When I felt engaged with my possessions, I felt enlivened by them, and when I felt disengaged from them, I felt burdened.
    -Rubin, Gretchen. Happier at Home. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2012.
Like nearly everyone out there, I don't consider myself materialistic. But I do have great love for certain objects in my possession, either because they serve a useful purpose well - like the right tool for the right job - or because of some certain intangible something that provides joy. 

This mug, for example, is my new favorite mug. I use it every day. I find its shape pleasing to the eye and hand. The handle is comfortable between my fingers. The flared rim both cradles my hand as it wraps the mug for warmth and is perfectly shaped to deliver each sip of coffee. The blue glaze matches a set of cereal bowls I made 23 years ago that I often use at breakfast. I purchased the mug in a local pottery shop after a challenging bike ride with a friend along a beautiful trail; a ride I wasn't convinced I was capable of finishing, but I did finish and I even enjoyed it. The mug is just a mug, but it also has associations with memories of the ride, a ceramics class of yesteryear, and is aesthetically pleasing to boot. Using this mug is a joyful way to start each and every day. If that's materialistic, then, OK, I'm materialistic. I'm fine with that.

No comments:

Post a Comment