China

I have started a collection of mismatched china plates. The first member of this soon-to-be budding coterie was discovered at the Goodwill store in Hilo lying under a thin layer of dust behind a broken toaster and a one-eyed Raggedy Ann.

china plate

Isn’t she lovely? Her refined elegance is marred by a small chip on her back but her spirit still shines through and she has not once spilled my baked beans onto the floor.

In the beauty of a chipped china plate, I see the beauty of life. I have learned that we are the reflection of what we have done with our lives. Most of us are tarnished, chipped, maybe a bit blurry. Along the road to arriving here, we have earned our wrinkles, gray hair, scars, aches and confusions. Rather than seeing these things as the ravages of time, I like to think of them as proof that I have lived, proof that I have not sat in a tower behind a locked door, watching the soldiers march past. I have more than once taken that frightening first step into the unknown and experienced again and again the joy of discovery, the universality of the human heart, and the magnificent release of laughter.

I love the feel of a nice china plate, but hate the idea of having a full set of matching china. If one plate gets broken, the set is diminished. On the other hand, if none of the plates match and one gets broken, nobody but the broken plate will be any the wiser and none will be diminished by the loss. The mismatched horde remains strong, not trying to be anything more than what it is, and every member is valued for its intrinsic uniqueness.

To celebrate what is either the ultimate in wisdom or a foolish naivety–honestly I don’t care which it is–I am gratefully accepting donations to the collection. With luck, I will have enough mismatched plates to host a dinner party by the time our hedge has grown enough to give us some privacy.

So if you want to be rid of your mismatched bits, please feel free to send them on. And if you could be so kind as to send them by UPS, I would be eternally grateful.

hibiscus

 

2 thoughts on “China

  1. When my Grandparents died I was asked if there was anything of theirs that I wanted and I asked for their China set. It was a gift from my Dad to his Mom from Japan back when he was in the Navy, in the 1960’s. So I have that in storage waiting for when we finally settle somewhere. One piece broke in a move, the gravy boat, which is ok with me. It has sentimental value more than it being a complete set. I can’t wait to bring it out to a china cabinet some day and start using it for holidays and special occasions.

    Your plate is beautiful, I hope you will share here when you start acquiring more for your mishmash set. It’s a lovely idea you have.

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    1. Thanks, Diana. I love the story of your Mom’s China. I had a great aunt who had a boyfriend in the merchant marines way back when and Mom still has some of the gifts he brought her from his adventures.

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