Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Friday, March 25, 2011

Week III - The Chipped Cup

It is quiet at the moment, and I decided to use the quiet to read the introduction for Week III.  The Chipped Cup? ~ ~groan~ ~ 

It just gets better and better!

Peter Mayer has a wonderful song, The Japanese Bowl.  I have tried, but I cannot find it.  It is on his Heaven Below album so you could listen to a small portion on Amazon.  I invite you to hold at least these wonderful images of Mayer's as we begin reflecting on The Chipped Cup:
Not Japanese, but it does have
cracks filled with gold.
I’m like one of those Japanese bowls 
That were made long ago 
I have some cracks in me 
They have been filled with gold 

That’s what they used back then 
When they had a bowl to mend 
It did not hide the cracks 
It made them shine instead 
So now every old scar shows 
From every time I broke 
And anyone’s eyes can see 
I’m not what I used to be 

But in a collector’s mind 
All of these jagged lines 
Make me more beautiful 
And worth a much higher price 

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls 
I was made long ago 
I have some cracks you can see 
See how they shine of gold
This may be my theme song this week.   I have appreciated the words for a long time, with Joyce's writing, I suspect they will take on another whole significance.

You can just make out the chip above the flower along the edge
of the left cup.  It was actually a much bigger chip that has been repaired.
Joyce shares that a friend has a bowl with a "bad side" that as her friend has grown older, she has gained a deeper appreciation for the faded and chipped area.  I thought of a set my husband gave me for Christmas several years ago.  It is old, so one would expect worn areas.  I have always wished that one cup had never been broken and "repaired."

I have not read past the first paragraph and Joyce is already getting me out of my chair to reconsider perceptions! Looking at this tea set, I can see how it reflects my life back at me.
"The 'perfect bowls' are the ones that oftentimes are never used to bring joy to others because they are carefully kept behind glass doors or hidden in cupboards collecting dust. They never really get to engage in life or enjoy nurturing others." (Joyce Rupp, The Cup of Life, p 66)
What a beautiful new lens by which to consider aging.

A natural rhythm and grace...aging.
Joyce admits that her imperfections keep her ego in check.  The Wednesday Lunch Bunch talked together how we end as we began... dependent.   They wondered if aging was a gift from God since our egos are much stronger and assertive when we are young and strong.  At the time, they had no idea they were preparing their hearts for a week of The Chipped Cup.

Joyce is also giving me a bit of a "warning" that she does not want me to  approach this week, criticizing myself for imperfections.  That is not the goal of this journey. Rather, this journey is to see what my imperfections tell me about my relationship with God and with others.  I would add...with myself as well.

So, I am guessing we will be challenged to look at ourselves, our imperfections...our aging through a new lens this week.  The question will be...

Will we consider the wonder and rhythm that aging brings our hearts?

Or will we be like Maxine, complaining and grumbling about our aches and our pains?

Sounds like it will be an interesting week!

Many Blessings ~ Sandi


  1. May I be open to the challenge of seeing things from a new perspective.

  2. I do not want to be the cup that is never used. I need to see myself and others as God sees us. May I be a vessel that is used for God's purposes and not my own - or better yet, may God's purpose for my life and the decisions that I make be mine also.