Saturday, November 17, 2007


In this modern age, when so many things can be distilled down into a concise scientific explanation, the persistent mystery and magnetism of the ritual still drives our daily lives. I believe this behavior goes beyond mere routine because these rituals create a transcendence of our acts, and by extension, our lives. As humans, we somehow crave this transformation. Even with our iPods, plasma screens and Mars landings, we remain elemental creatures of magic and faith. Amen! It can be so easy to lose our humanity amidst all the information and technology bombarding us, trying to strip it away, layer by layer. We need existence beyond our explanations to remain ourselves.

And so it is with my Martian Cup.

My morning ritual is to cook and share breakfast with my rats (otherwise known as the Well Wells or Charmkins). It's the same breakfast every day--scrambled eggs and a wheat bagel with cream cheese. The crowning glory of this daily intake is a good, strong hot cup o' joe. A day simply cannot be started properly without that one crucial ingredient. But little did I know how important is the container for this elixir!

I found this magic martian mug jammed to the back of a shelf in a 50% off sale in a gift shop about twelve years ago. I had to have it. I mean look at that guy. And over the years, it has strangely become my herald of good fortune, of miraculously potent good juju in the studio. For some inexplicable reason, I do my very best work the day I grab that mug from the front of the line in our jam-packed mug shelf, eager to douse my appetite with ritual coffee. Whether it's the power of suggestion or if there actually is some supernatural energy imbued in those buggy eyes, the result is the same -- a good day. A very good day.

And speaking of a good day, which today certainly is as you'll soon see, my breakfast these past two days has been abnormally decadent! We celebrated my husband's birthday by trying out a new steakhouse here in town, and upon ordering their chocolate cake for dessert, we were shocked to be served a slab the size of an 8 x 11 sheet of paper and 3 inches thick, doused in icing and chocolate indulgence. Oy! What's better than chocolate cake? More chocolate cake!

And so instead of a bagel with cream cheese, a hefty slice of this sinful extravagance has complimented my steaming joe--and what a magical combination! Really, the eggs are simply a flimsy excuse to call this meal "nutritious". But there's my Martian cup, the one thing that could outshine chocolate cake for breakfast.

So I ask you--what's more nourishing?--Food for the body, or food for the soul?

And so today will be a truly remarkable day in the studio, between my Martian magic and chocolate intoxication. Already, the Haflinger foal I'm sculpting is flowing from my fingers, without thought or effort. Perhaps I should procure more chocolate cake for when I sculpt his dam? Hmmm.....

And so I leave you with this: "That's the thing with magic. You've got to know it's still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you." ~ Charles de Lint

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