A Blue Cup Presence

Material objects sometimes represent more to me than their momentary utility. A psychologist would tell you that I project myself into these objects, giving them my personality and attributes, a process called personification.

A shaman would tell you that everything has a spirit living in it, including material objects because those materials were made from earth’s resources, and the earth and its resources are nothing but living spirits. And, just like any other spirit, we cannot own them. They only agree to be borrowed for a time in our lives.

Some years ago, my daughter and son-in-law were struggling with their lives. The details are meaningless to anyone but me and them; the consequences, however, could have been so very costly to the person we care about more than anyone else: their daughter and my granddaughter. All of the responsibility for my granddaughter fell upon my son-in-law. He was a very young soul then, barely past the age of 20, and he had to make the commitment to save his own life first.

My resources were limited to taking care of me. While I could cheer him on and babysit, I could not step into his life and fix it for him. I could not run his race or lift his burden. It was his battle, not mine.

A day came very early into this battle . . . a very hot day, where his struggles brought him to my door while running the numerous errands that were his life at that moment. He asked only for a glass of water, and I gave it to him in a cup exactly like the one shown in the picture. bluecup1 (2) He swallowed the water in what seemed one gulp, so gave him another, but this time filled with ice. He was close to being late for his next appointment with destiny so I told him to take the blue cup with him.

I never saw that blue cup again.

Ten years later, I see my son-in-law and granddaughter all the time, and the blue cup in the picture is the mate to the one I gave away that day. My granddaughter rocks the world with her presence and my son-in-law has discovered grace and gifts within himself that amaze and comfort me.

When I look into my cupboard and see that lone blue cup, I am reminded of that day, what preceded it and what has come after. I don’t long for the presence of its mate. I don’t ever ask my son-in-law about it and I don’t want to know where it is. Instead, I imagine that other blue cup still out there offering a long, cool drink of water to a thirsty world.

©2014 by Barbara L. Kass

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11 Responses to “A Blue Cup Presence”

  1. ntexas99 Says:

    Barbara – love it that you aren’t afraid to paint a picture on both sides of the canvas (regarding personification of an item, as well as the concept of borrowed objects filled with spirit). Having very recently released something that has carried me through many a sleepless night, I understand the need to hold on, as well as the desire to let it go, and set it free again, so that it can “offer a long, cool drink of water to a thirsty world”. Mine wasn’t a blue cup, but your story helps bring into focus the value of the memories attached to the item, as opposed to actually holding the item in our hands. I’m still working towards that place where I don’t open the cupboard and feel a sting of pain, but rather, only an open heart filled with wonder and acceptance. Getting closer every day.

    Thanks for sharing this one, and it’s always nice to see you.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Thanks for coming by, Nancy – anytime we let something go, we set ourselves free. That is the basis of forgiveness. I find myself incomplete, too, not having a full set of dishes, not having a full family complete with a husband and all my children with their requisite spouses in place. Yet, that missing cup allows me the freedom to imagine that it is still working its magic in the world. The missing spaces in my life allow me freedom to move about that I would not have otherwise. The missing in my life allows for gifts that I otherwise would not have had. I hope you share your memories on your blog one day.

  2. David Wigtil Says:

    Thank you, Barbara. Wonderfully comprehended!

  3. Ann Marquette Says:

    Beautiful post 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

  4. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Barbara — yin/yang, sun/moon, up/down…I love that you included all of the elements (positive/negative) in the retelling of family story.

    My hat is off to you for offering a blue cup; one that has had a positive, far-reaching ripple effect!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Laurie — the ripples are important (you teach this so I learned from the best). What we send out into the world will eventually find its way back to us.

  5. Kathy Says:

    This is beautiful, Barbara. I am so glad you shared this story. A single blue cup can contain so much…

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kathy — thanks for coming by. This story keeps unfolding and I measure its outcome day by day, remembering it each time I am asked to give by another even if it is for something as small as a drink of water.

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