10.9.08 | Death of a Plate

Trying to juggle a phone conversation with making myself dinner the other day, i watched in disbelief and abject misery as my favourite dinner-plate slipped from my tenuous grip, spun briefly through the air in energetic farewell and shattered upon the bitterly unforgiving hard surface of the kitchen floor.

I stood there in silent disbelief at what had just happened, my friend on the other end of the phone repeatedly asking:

What was wrong? What had happened? What was that loud crash? Why did i cry out like that?

It's ok. I broke a plate. Nothing serious. Am fine, although my dinner is ruined. Can i call you back? Later, please? Thank you. Ok Cya. Mwah's.

It's only a plate. And indeed it is only a plate. A simple white plate with a blue band circling the rim. All things are finite. One should not mourn a simple plate.

Ahh, but what a finely crafted plate. Made in the Staffordshire Potteries region, renowned for it's craftsmanship of all things clay. It never tarnished or discoloured. Resisted scratches from a million knives and forks. did its job silently and with supreme reliable efficiency. Ahh, what memories this plate has brought me every time i sit at table and eat my food from it. Something i have done for over 20 years, and will now not do so again.

Many friends were stored in the memories that belonged with this plate. Some now long gone. Many meals shared. Some romantic. Often with much laughter.

No more shall i have my plate when i sit with Da Pumpkin and trade witticism while we eat our fishies, or my mothers delicious steaky pies. No more salad goodness. Or chips. Or a stir fry or pizza slices.

This log is the plate's wake, as i remember the life of my beloved piece of cutlery... Arriving quietly on it's own in the kitchen after the death of my Grandmother Reenee and gradually finding it's way into my affections by it's unassuming reliability to hold food and make it look good.

...To it's final moments before hitting the unkind floor edge on and breaking into 5 large and several tiny pieces. You can see the place where the impact must have occurred. The energy moving outwards and backwards. Just too much to withstand. Damn! I wish we had a carpeted kitchen floor! Survival might yet have been possible.

Standing there looking down at the wreckage for several moments. Then gathering the remnants into a dustpan and feeling sad and grim, as another link with the past is brushed silently away. Repeat the mantra. It's just a plate. It's just a plate.

And we are just bodies. At death, whatever holds our souls to the earth is removed and we go elsewhere. I don't think we die with our bodies. It's like a Buddhist teaching i once saw. A monk held a cup of water in his hand, then promptly broke it upon the ground.

"The cup is broken. But the water is still water. Do you see?"


  6:08 pm :. Blogger my sun sets to rise again hollered thusly:

The way to love anything is to realise that it might be lost. -H

  3:35 am :. Blogger LiVEwiRe hollered thusly:

Often it is the symbolism involved that gains our initial reaction. And yes, I'm sorry to hear of your loss...

  8:52 am :. Blogger {illyria} hollered thusly:

it's those unexpected losses that cut deep. and everything, it seems, just becomes pieces of shrapnel.

  1:17 pm :. Blogger carlberry hollered thusly:

Wouldn't the water become mud or something once it hit the ground ?

  6:27 pm :. Anonymous Anonymous hollered thusly:

Last moments pieced back together...

This final paragraph made my insides swell & pause, & then return to the ground again.

~ Janine x x x

  9:52 pm :. Blogger Aberrant Templar hollered thusly:

This post reminds me of something my professor did in a Storytelling class I took years ago.

She showed us a wristwatch and told us this tale about how it belonged to her father and how he had it with him when he proposed to her mother, etc.

Then she hit it with a hammer and everyone in the audience gasped.

She'd bought it for $4 at a gas station on her way in to school that day.

The lesson was all about technique and how the storyteller can make an audience invest some of their emotion into an inanimate object by giving it history and a memorable description.

Great story, great lesson, great post.

  12:44 pm :. Blogger 3rd daughter hollered thusly:

hello young man. long time, no visit. i am sorry to hear of the loss of your plate. i have a cupboard full of supposedly unbreakable dinnerware. so far they live up to the claim. it is easier that way.

Post a Comment