OK, so I need to preface this with saying that I’ve never been a pony or horse kind of girl. Until recently, I’ve always considered myself of the feline persuasion. In fact, I’m pretty sure my parents had me pegged as becoming my neighborhood’s version of a crazy cat lady before I met Ben. But I digress.
Today I woke up to a dreary Oklahoma morning. It’s been sunny and sixty for the past five days, so you can imagine my disappointment. I trudged into the kitchen and fumbled with the coffee pot. Since this was not my kitchen, I had to go in search of a mug. And that, my friends, is when it happened. Hanging discretely from a stand was the most amazing mug I have ever seen. Don’t believe me? To you I say, behold:
I was so excited by my discovery that it got me thinking. Why did this single object bring me so much amusement and delight? It was unexpected, sure. And, yeah, it’s a vehicle to get much-needed coffee to my lips, but it is more than that. It is whimsical and it draws upon a happy nostalgia.
I’m sipping coffee out of a mug and I can almost hear America playing in the background. They wrote a number of hits in the 70’s, most notably, “A Horse with No Name” and “Ventura Highway.” What some of you might not know is that they also did the soundtrack for the animated adaptation of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn.
If you haven’t read The Last Unicorn, I would highly recommend it. Beagle’s prose in uniquely his own. His language has the fluidity and nuance of a poem. The story captures the essence of our desire to belong; to be important. The protagonist is achingly beautiful in her isolation and otherness, and in that contrast one gets a sense that the writer is a keen observer of the human condition.
So far I’ve been speaking rather literally about unicorns, but I think the real recommendation today is to enjoy a little whimsy. If you just take time to look around, your source of entertainment will be limitless. And so, on a final note, I’ll leave you with an image of Patrick Rothfuss’ Lesbian Unicorn.