When I sit down to write or to create a work of art, one of my rituals is to have a mug of coffee or tea at hand. The mug matters — a lot. It must be beautiful, and it must feel just right in my hand. It is even better if the mug has a story. The three mugs pictured here fit the bill perfectly, and the lovely colors inside each of them delight me. The mug with the blue interior was one of the first handmade pieces I ever bought for myself. The purchase was a splurge — it was for my first apartment — and all these years later, I still think it is a work of art. The mug with the lilac color came from an artisan at the Clearwater Festival. Every time I use it, it brings back the wonderful experiences I have had while volunteering there each year. The mug with the lovely celadon green glaze was given to me by one of my most treasured friends. I use this mug and it is like a communion with a kindred spirit. Holding each of these mugs and gazing out a window as I contemplate my latest creation centers me — even soothes me. The imprint of the artist that made them lingers. The memories the mugs conjure make me feel blessed. They are beautiful, useful objects — and a direct connection to my creative muse.