Jan 26 , 2021
How to practice Teaism amid chaos.
If I look for life’s small, quiet beauties around me, I tend to find them. It’s not hard. Beauty can never hide itself. Not from someone who's seeking her.
Even when chaos swirls all around me, if I can make a moment to steep a cup of tea, when I taste it on my lips it reminds me that amidst my unreturned phone calls and unmet deadlines, amidst the clutter in my closet and the painful mess in the streets of my city, beauty still remains. And she rests in my cup.
Teasim is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. … It is essentially the worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.- Okakura Kakuzo, The Book of Tea
Is this not a saving grace?!
Even amidst the threat of a contagious pandemic lurking on the other side of every masked neighbor I meet, tea helps me take a true minute to settle my gaze into the bottom of my cup to remember that these are tender times. And they are calling on us to be tender people.
I’m sharing with you 3 special Green Tea artists who’ve captivated my world.
1. Twice steeped
Tiny and delicate. Using already steeped teabags as her canvas, Ruby Silvious turns waste into breath-taking art.
What began in 2015 as 363 Days of Tea resulted in a tiny explosion of intricate slice-of-life portraits – a micro-universe of exotic birds and flowers, soccer matches, sweaters on sale, and elephants crossing the Sahara. But 2020 has led to her quarantine-inspired COVID Blues series. A nod to Picasso’s Blue Period, Ruby spent her 14 days in isolation turning more waste around her own home into tiny canvases. From flattening the curve to pot shops as essential businesses – this art series shows one woman’s tender view of her isolation period during the coronavirus pandemic. View more colorful, intricate tea bag art by Ruby Silvious.
There’s something poetic about the stains that the tea leaves naturally create on the tea bags once they’re dried.- Ruby Silvious
2. Tea Time series
Lemurs drink tea too! So do dinosaurs and walruses. And sloths too! If you don’t believe me, artist Rachel Jean Fisher can prove it to you! Her animal portraits catch them in at home in their native tea-sipping setting.
The pensive look in a lemur’s eyes as he holds a tasty warm cup of green tea in his had, patiently waiting to sip.
And this happy little sloth, planning her afternoon around this warm cup of green that will take her no less than 72 hours to sip.
But green tea’s not just for the tiny forest creatures – apparently even the King of the Tyrant Lizards, T-Rex himself sips a mighty cup of green in between “meals.”
3. Words matter
Last but not least, I’ll share with you this bit of daily magic, made for me by my tea friend Greg Liu at Garden to Cup. When unexpectedly marooned on a tea plantation, Greg and a friend penned 500 of their deepest thoughts, then brought them to life on compostable fill-your-own tea bags.
It's Lao Tzu meets sustainability. The bags give me a laugh on most days, and something to ponder on other days.
If there’s anything that brings more zen to the scene than green tea, it’s art. In an anxious world where we’re all (ok, most of us) searching for that next calm moment – we need our art! I am grateful for artists like Ruby, Rachel and Greg for finding such creative ways to blend two of life’s most precious beauties. So brew yourself a cup of art, take a seat for ten minutes, and take your eyes to some art. It’ll do your soul – AND your body – good.