coffee mug

Photo compliments of K. Farwell

Ever find something just when you given up on ever finding it? Happens to me all the time. My latest “I give up” caper happened last week. I took an insulated aluminum mug of really fine coffee to the craft group I help facilitate, and the next day I realized I never made it home with the mug. To make it worse, it was a brand new mug. I looked everywhere…..all over my house and all over my car. I even called my church and asked the secretary  to check for my mug the next time she happened to be in the parish hall  because that was the last place I remembered having the mug during the previous day’s craft group.  She checked, and the mug was not there. The next day I announced at a 12 step meeting that I was missing a mug and asked people to keep an eye out for it in the church. After the 12 step meeting I looked for the mug one more time in the back seat of my car. Of course, there was my “missing mug” buried in “stuff” on the floorboard of my car behind the driver’s seat.

This morning a friend spent several minutes looking for specific books and then remembered he’d taken them home rather than leaving them in the yoga studio where we happened to be. Another friend immediately looked my way and simply said “the mug” as she chuckled. I’m pretty sure the phrase “the mug” will be a symbol for something lost and then found whenever the “loss” is a consequence of one’s own “doing”—–at least for me and a few friends.

My week’s hidden and underlying theme seems to be “lost and found.” I’ve been doing a bit of spring cleaning ——-yes, I know it is mid-July. But what can I say? I’m a non-conformist even when it comes to spring cleaning. In the midst of all the trauma of finding, examining, and discerning whether or not I was going to keep something, I found quite a few “mugs” during the process. The friend who was helping me kept saying, “This is like a treasure hunt.”

For me, the experience was ambivalent. I found treasures, yes. But mostly I found memories of loved ones gone, past events, past spouses (only two!), and a life with more years lived than I sometimes care to admit. I thought I’d worked through all my feelings of betrayal and abandonment I’ve come to associate with my last marriage, but evidently ten years plus is not enough time to completely heal. When my friend and I found a condom along with my ex’s fishing stuff I felt betrayed all over again. The condom, to me, indicated that he’d been actively playing around a bit longer than I’d realized. The nurse in me thought, “well, at least STDs were kept at bay.” The abandoned child in me wanted to run away and cry for a bit—-but that was soon replaced with a flood of anger.

All that drama was his; I no longer have to buy into it, and the fact that I did so for even a short time was a bit more insight than I wanted to encounter.  However, I digress. Back to the “mug” concept. I want to try to use my lost mug caper to remind me that Creator never leaves me; Creator never loses me. It is I who put distance between Creator and myself. When I do so, I feel displaced, anxious, alone….wandering and wondering as I worry about how I am going to control and/or meet the challenges inherent in living. What a relief when I am able to get quiet, take a deep breath, and re-connect with Creator! I never cease to amaze myself by how often I repeatedly distance myself from that connection. Guess I am just a slow learner. The only non-conditional love that will never abandon me or anyone else comes from Creator; and the only “abandonment” that occurs in that relationship is when I or others choose to walk away. God bless and keep you.