Broken Pieces

Broken Pieces

My favorite mug broke this morning.

I sighed, picked up the broken pieces, and dumped them all in the trash.

After all, I don’t need this particular mug.

We have plenty of mugs—too many, probably, since the breakage was a result of another mug toppling from where it had been precariously stacked.

But it is my favorite. The one that everyone else in the household knows not to use, because it’s mine. Its weight and shape are just right for my hands. It holds my coffee’s temperature for the right amount of time. And it evokes cherished memories of the context in which it was given to me as a gift.

So, for a little while I moped about the loss of this mug, already discarded with the trash.

And then I thought, wait. It was just the handle that broke off. It probably can be glued back together. (Duh.) Why was I so quick to dump the pieces in the trash?

So, I’ve retrieved them, and I will put them back together. Not all is lost.

As a metaphor, this experience is decidedly unsubtle. But it sure made an impression on me today.

Where else am I at risk of carelessly discarding that which is easily reparable?

With love,


  1. Rebecca Reese

    Indeed! What a great question for all of us to keep in mind!
    I hope you continue to enjoy your repaired mug,

  2. Joy Woelfer

    Wonderful. I too broke my favorite, and it was just the handle so I set it aside until I could get to it. In the meantime I was reminded of the Japanese fixing and valuing broken things, and I decided I would fix it by putting golden dust/small pieces in the glue when I do it. Can’t do it right now, but I will get to it.

  3. Linda Adcox-Kimmel

    Reminded me of my favorite mug which I broke and glued back together. Great metaphor. 🥰

  4. Kathy Parker

    Paige — This is a worthwhile message for all of us! I too have dropped mugs that were given to me as gifts — or my purchase of them had a special meaning for me. In at least two cases (like yours), the handle was broken off, and even after using super glue to put the handle back on, I worried that it was no longer safe to hold the mended mug filled with hot coffee. In one case, the mug became a pencil holder, in a color that matches my kitchen! In another case, the mug holds tea bags! I am thankful I still have these special mugs in my life — symbolic of memories I value to this day. Thanks for telling us about your broken mug. Good luck with “fixing” it. 🙂

  5. Stephen McGovern

    Beautiful lesson. Reminded me of an Ajahn Chah teaching recounted by Jack Kornfield. Perhaps a different take on the “broken cup”

    One day my teacher Ajahn Chah held up a beautiful tea cup, “To me this cup is already broken. Because I know its fate, I can enjoy it fully here and now. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.” When we understand the truth of uncertainty, we become free.

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