My best friend, Jillian, gave me these mugs the year we graduated college. Since then I have moved more times than anyone else I know and my latest move involved giving away or selling most of my possessions so that I could live at a yoga retreat center for a 2 year residential yoga leadership internship. When I moved, everything that I own fit in a rented Chevrolet Impala.
I knew I was going to a place that already had mugs, but these were mine and had kept me company many nights in her absence. When I used them, alone or with a new friend, I was reminded of the times we would sip coffee late at night listening to Pat Sweeney play the blues at the Zephyr Cafe in Kent, Ohio. These mugs held nights of inspiration, wisdom, laughter, tears, joys, poems, and the quiet confidence in their ability to contain anything and everything—from what was expected (coffee, tea) to the unexpected (pudding, bourbon).
This morning she smiles that I still have the set, the matching but not exact. “People here know me by these mugs. I use them everyday.” And in this way everyone gets to know a the piece of my journey, how in letting go of so many things, these mugs are probably one of the most meaningful possessions I own. To me, they signify the impact of friendship and how easily empty and filled are fleeting moments in our lives.
Earlier Jillian and I had sat in the silent dining room, each of us reading and just being able to enjoy each other’s presence without having to do anything. We didn’t need to talk or even look at each other, but in a way, I know we are like these mugs for each other, able to hold in strength and let go, knowing that friendship is what enables survival. A quiet and sacred acceptance of what life rains down into our cups, or doesn’t.
And like these mugs that have held so many moments of my life, this blog is a way to share all the beauty and terror of living a spiritual life, practicing yoga and meditation, and living life to its fullest from the perspective of a writer, teacher, poet, baker, bartender, believer, and disbeliever.
To read more of Carly’s work, click here.