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Crazed but Not Crazy

Large Yellow Cup

One of the things in life that truly gives me pleasure is discovering a new word – not just learning its meaning, but the context, if you will, of how we became introduced to one another in the first place. (What did you expect from a writer?)

Getting Ready to Sell our Family Home

In the summer of 2008, I went to Winnipeg to help my sister sort through what my father would take with him when he moved into a retirement residence. Sifting through furniture, china and silver collections that had accumulated over the sixty plus years dad had lived in our family home, we were afraid that we might get rid of something valuable. So, my sister and I decided to consult an antiques and collectibles appraiser to help us separate the good stuff from garage sale candidates.

Looking over some china, he chose a few pieces, then put one of them back down on the table, saying, “It’s crazed.” He explained that crazing referred to the spider web cracks that appeared beneath the glaze of a china or porcelain piece. While sometimes it was an omen of things to come (it might break), a crazed cup and saucer typically indicated that the glaze had been compromised. The appraiser also mentioned that even though you could technically still use the item, he wouldn’t advise it for the obvious reasons.

Exactly How I Feel

I’m not implying that there are not good days when, for example, I set out for a job interview and discovered a part of North Vancouver I had never seen before, or I just happened to have my camera with me the day I was waiting for the bus in the rain in Chinatown and noticed dragons perched on the lamp post.

Maybe it’s because I’m still working through the grief, but everything seems more complicated than it should be. I’ve been through two other periods of unemployment where my jobless state has dragged on and on and on, but I don’t remember having to work this hard in maintaining a positive attitude about the whole process. It’s difficult to keep hearing “no” and not feel like I’m doing anything right.

Life is Like That

Crazing, a system of fine cracks that appear on the surface of a china cup without creating fissures that will no longer support the structure, describes perfectly the way I’m feeling these days. I’m hanging in there, but the cracks are starting to show.


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