Apr 25 , 2020
TEAISM. That's how.
Seeing life through the lens of Tea helps me find adoration in small things, even amidst the ugly and the scary. Even when, yes, I’ve been directed to shelter in place to avoid the threat of viral pandemic entering my lungs, and then a power outage happens. What to do when I'm feeling trapped and severely limited by uncontrollable forces around me?
Cold-brew, of course. Who needs hot water? I have Cherry Sencha Green tea in my tins and fresh water in my kettle. And for this I am grateful. It’s a small, small thing, but so comfortingly big.
While I think of tea as energy, I know that tea began as a medicine, then grew into a beverage, and eventually evolved into a religion (or a cult, depending on your perspective) – which is what I practice daily. My practice of Teaism is my tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as Life.
Seeing life through the lens of green tea helps me find a sense of comfort, even when I’m feeling at my smallest. Even when I feel afraid that I’ll never evolve into the balanced, strong, zen woman I should have already become by age 50 (or fill in your own age and gender blanks here).
So every day, even if just for one slow moment, I set that Fear aside on a shelf – a tall, tall shelf in the corner of the room, right next to the space I’ve cleared for Shame – the shame of unpaid family debts, of not being evolved enough to hear my own voice, or assertive enough to trust it. I even make space for the shame of the grandparents of the grandmothers and grandfathers who were here before me, because I’m still carrying their shame around with me like a 57-pound suitcase with no wheels.
Now, here with Fear and Shame sitting tucked away on this tall shelf, I sit still with my cold-brewed sweet Cherry Sencha in hand, and the two of us, we smile together. We are still.
The repeatedly announced threat of this pandemic rages on, along with my fleeting ancestors, and the storm that stole my power (we’re talking both personal and electricity here, folks). But me and my green tea, we rest here. My breath slows its pace a little, my heartbeat follows. Cherry Sencha and I, we steady ourselves for the next wave, which we will take with the strength of the reeds in the swamp. They may get dampened and tattered during the storm, but they keep standing, and they keep swaying with the breeze.
I never stop being curious about what goes on in this upstairs of mine. Let’s face it, one never quite knows what she thinks until she reads what she has said. (Tribute to Flannery O’Connor here.) I write about tea because gazing through this green liquid gold in my glass leads me to be introspective, and I like that. No, I need that.
I’m hoping fellow tea lovers will find me here. And hoping they will keep seeing beauty in the dim.
More about me.