Because in the school of the Spirit,
man learns wisdom through humility,
knowledge by forgetting,
how to speak by silence,
how to live by dying.
-Johannes Tauler

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just when you think you've made progress...

Someone took my coffee cup.

My sister, just because she had some extra points to spare on her student card, bought me an oversized coffee mug from Starbucks. This might sound ridiculous, but I’ve actually gotten a few compliments on it around the office! I really love it, and I kept it at my desk for a long time, because, well…it’s mine. I don’t want to risk the chance of it being “borrowed” and then swallowed up by someone’s messy desk.

Today, I left for lunch and wanted to wash it just before leaving. I have a shelf in the kitchen cabinets at the office that I usually keep a few things on, so I just dried it and set it there on my way out. I forgot all about it until I saw it in the hands of one of the employees – he isn’t usually in the office because he doesn’t live in Indianapolis, but works for the company from a distance, so of course he didn’t know that was my shelf that I keep my things on…and that he had taken my coffee cup. I almost said something to him as he walked by holding it…

And then I saw him take a drink.
Out of my coffee cup.
That no human’s lips had ever touched but mine.

It was like a slow motion nightmare and in my head I screamed, “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo….”

I am not kidding you – I had to stop and regain my composure. He has no idea, still, the commotion he’s caused within me, and I don’t particularly plan to tell him. I may just sneak around until he’s abandoned it and then reclaim it, hiding it deep within a drawer at my desk, only to see the light of day when I need some cinnamon tea or a cup of french vanilla coffee.

Yet for the last thirty minutes of the work day, I had to ask myself: why is this causing me such grief? It’s a coffee mug for goodness sake! And I thought I had come so far this year, in my detachment and in my purposeful poverty, and now I’ve completely lost it over a piece of porcelain.  

It’s possible this is a reflection of something deeper, some greater issue I’ve yet to overcome…yet to even discover. With six and a half months to go, I’ve got some more work to do in my heart. +

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