Futility and Utility

Fine china gathering dust untouched

while my everyday mug with a chip near the lip

is used daily

We reach for the things that are familiar and dear

and let the “good” rot away out of misplaced fear

that we will break the beautiful things

and then we won’t have them

But what is the point of beautiful

if we don’t dare to touch

isn’t it much better then

to be as useful as an ordinary mug?

At least it is,

if we want to be touched?

13 thoughts on “Futility and Utility

    • It’s funny, when Mum and Dad died, I chose to keep the things I grew up with. A little vase that sat on the shelf, the bright tin canisters that held sugar and tea and coffee etc whichsat in a group along the kitchen bench. There are parts of us in the things we love and use daily.

  1. Hey, nice thoughts! The fear that we have of breaking something beautiful isn’t come from nowhere since we were kids we’ve been taught to keep the beautiful things nice, and clean, or just don’t touch them otherwise we would break them. But it’s also funny to think that we can not do the same thing with a human heart. People are way more complex than just a little vase, the more used our heart and the more it breaks the more precious the heart is. And I feel like that’s a beautiful thing about “being broken/making mistakes”. But bc we’ve been told to do not touch it unless we would brake it that’s why when we grew up many of us are afraid of touching “something” a.k.a we are afraid to try and understand that we’re gonna make mistakes eventually. Well, that’s a little thought from me. Thanks for sharing with usπŸ’ž

  2. This is a lovely piece of writing that I can really identify with, Kate. I, too, have that one chipped mug that I use repeatedly, and yet, in the cupboard, I’ve got my favourite mugs that hardly ever get used. I don’t think I’m worried about breaking them, but it’s something from my childhood – always keeping your best for best and not for everyday use. I do the same thing with clothes. I’ve got a fair number of new items of clothing (when I say new, they’ve been in my wardrobe for a couple of years), but I keep pulling out the old leggings, jeans and jumpers, which I rotate from wash to wash. I bought an outfit to go to my son’s one Christmas. Then, Covid struck, and I couldn’t go, so it’s still hanging in my wardrobe, unworn, too. My Mum was the same; she would put new elastic in her skirts rather than go out and buy a new skirt, even if she could afford it. Mum used to say it came from her mum, so perhaps, it’s a generational thing, also.

    You mentioned to one of your readers (above) that you had kept some of your mum and dad’s items from your childhood and that you do use them. I did a similar thing when I lost my Mum. I kept a grey Melamine cereal bowl I’d used from being a toddler, Mum’s orange teapot, a vase and an old, but still sharp, bread knife! I often use these things, although not the teapot, which remains on my kitchen window sill, complete with its original tea stains on the inside, just like Mum liked it. She used to say the tea tasted better from a tea-stained pot.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic, Kate. It’s been really interesting reading about your special things as well as those of others in the comments. Xx πŸŒΌπŸ’•βœ¨. P.S. Sorry I’ve missed some of your recent posts; I’ve just been so busy, I can’t keep up with myself, let alone anybody else. I’ve missed reading your writing, though. Take care of yourself. X πŸ’

    • In my Grandmothers generation it was a common belief that the more tea tannin build up, the better the tea from the pot. Thanks so much for you thoughtful reply Ellie, as usual it compliments and adds so much to my post πŸ€—βœ¨πŸ«ΆπŸ»

  3. Beautiful and agreed Kate but I did just eat and drink out of well kept china at a friends yesterday and I remembered how cool it is to tuck them away and bring them out and shared. πŸ’ž

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