Every morning, I drink my coffee from a white mug, printed mostly in
black. It has the black outline of a rectangle near the top, and near
the bottom, a scene unrolls around it. To the left, near the handle,
stands a woman in old-fashioned ruffles and lace. She looks prim
and a little dowdy, holding a purse and wearing a large, puffy hat.
Next to her, but facing away, a man with a handlebar mustache sits
at a table, holding an open book. The table is covered with a long,
white cloth and topped with a decorative lamp and a glass of wine.
On the floor beside the empty chair across from the man lies the
body of a second woman. Her head is covered by the tablecloth,
and an empty wineglass lies on the floor beside her. The only color
on the mug is a splash of bright red in the glass on the table and the
bright red print of the word â€œMysteryâ€� in the rectangle.
The scene was drawn by the cartoonist, Edward Gorey, who drew
the credits for the popular PBS series Mystery. Like Gorey
drawings in general, it raises more questions than it answers and
creates a distinct sense of unease.
The mug was one of a set of two offered many years ago as a gift for
contributing to our local PBS station. My friend Marla got them,
giving me one and keeping the other for herself. Marla and I were in
a writersâ€™ workshop together where we collaborated on a
couple of writing projects, including one about the mystery writer
Dorothy L. Sayers. The popularity of the televised adaptation of
Sayersâ€™ Lord Peter Wimsey on Masterpiece Theater led to the
Marlaâ€™s mug broke years ago, but mine remains--a reminder of
writing, of mysteries, of the PBS special I still enjoy--but mostly of
It also suggests the theme of this October website, which includes
articles on the attraction of fear, the mystery of faith, and three
excellent British mystery writers who were well-known Christians--
Sayers, G. K. Chesterton, and P.D. James.
Iâ€™d love to hear from you in response to the website. I hope
youâ€™ll suggest topics that youâ€™re interested in and let me
know if the site is helpful to you. This is my website, but I believe in
sharing. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by George Garrigues