On Tea.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
"I don't understand a lot about this world, but at least I can whisk a decent bowl of tea."

This thought wandered through my head yesterday when I was at my tea ceremony class, and I said it out loud to my husband. He immediately responded with 'I'd like to read a blog post on that statement.' So, here we are. I've been saying to my husband (and myself) for a while that I want to write more blog posts, and get some content up on my blog that isn't just book reviews (though I still love doing those). Brain fog has made it really hard to do these things, though, so for a long time I've just had the odd idea swim up in my brain and then disappear back into the depths. Let's see if I have enough brain power for this today.

There's a lot I don't understand - just so so much. What I understand about things might only be partially accurate anyway, soon to be proven wrong. I want to be more comfortable with uncertainty, because it really dominates a lot of my life. What I was really talking about in the above statement, though, was my illnesses. They are at the forefront of my mind a lot, and I often find myself wondering about what they really are, and why they are here. How did they come to set up residence in my body? And how do they keep changing the rules? I can think about this academically at the moment - take a step back and look at it with logic as my main filter - but sometimes I am looking at them with anger, with resentment, my eyes fogged and clouded by accusation and what is 'fair'.

And then there's tea ceremony. I have written about it a little bit before (I have a whole post about it over on my husband's blog), but not a lot. It is something that is very important to me, and feels close to my heart, and I think that's why I feel so torn up about it that my health doesn't really allow me to participate in it as often as I would like. And I find it acutely painful to then send my husband off to tea ceremony class or related events and stay home by myself. I do my best to practice joy in the joy of others - trying to be happy that my husband gets to go and practice tea ceremony, which I know is important to him too, as well as connect with some really lovely people at the same time. It's not really necessary to say, but some times I am more successful at this than others...

But, as my tea ceremony teacher has told me a few times, I do know how to do some of the ceremony. I can do a basic ceremony by myself, at home. Basically, I know how to whisk a bowl of tea. And, while I do wish I could attend classes and make the tea (and drink the tea! and eat the sweets!) more often, I also have to remind myself that I have learnt how to do this beautifully zen, meditative, deeply calming thing. I can find solace in that. I can tap into that deep stillness which is at the heart of tea ceremony, and all of the questions, all of the frustrations, and all of misunderstandings can just take a step back. And there's something really beautiful in that.

So. Yes. I may not understand a lot about this world, but at least I can whisk a decent bowl of tea.

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