I would like to also dedicate this blog to four people:
My roommate-who helped me out of the mire of today, gave me this topic, and who always accepts my offers of tea, no matter what flavor it is…..
My brother, who has always tolerated my visits to tea shops and bought me some fine teas
To my father-who first brought me the gifts of tea and perseverance
And my mother
Who always was there to make that cup of tea and give that needed hug when I needed them most
“A world without tea is a world without hope.”
~on a Boston t-shirt
Hello dear Hearts!
Today I’ve decided to write about a subject so dear to me that I believe without it, I should cease to exist in the warm eves of my dorm room-and this subject, dear hearts, is tea. If only there were a Muse of Tea, I could hail, I would call upon her to sing its merits, and to inspire me with the proper words to describe my deep, unending passion, for the succulent dried leaves whose tantalizing myriad scents waft lovingly and comforting in the warm wooded eves of my room, as the winds blows coldly outside among the trees……
Maybe I won’t call on the Muse…..
Now, to understand how teas has changed my life, you are going to need what English lovers might call, a setting.
It was a dark and stormy night, the type of night in which the gods can be heard murmuring prophecies in the wind throughout the trees, trees which are brittle and whose leaves fall with the secret utterings each deity whispers. And, in the house amidst these trees……I was sitting in the warm red library reading King Lear(at three AM in the morning, after a rather out of whack week). If you have ever read King Lear, you will know that it’s a LITTLE BIT TRAGIC. And, as I have a fairly overactive imagination and emotional sensitivity to harm induced upon others, I can recall becoming more and more depressed. We begin, after all, with a King who has made his tragic mistake BEFORE the script begins and we end with Gloucester, one of his subjects brutally blinded and later dead, and Lear himself holding the one daughter who truly loves him, Cordelia, dead in his arms. And this, all on my birthday……..
Happy birthday to me?
The very descriptive scene of Gloucester’s eyes being plucked out, I must admit, particularly left me in a bit of a funk. Yet, in the midst of reading a brutal eye-plucking scene and weeping over a blinded man and a dying king holding his dead daughter, I was actually having a cup of tea, and I found that, as I began to feel upset, I would drink the tea, and suddenly Gloucester‘s blinding seemed more like a gentle slap in the face. How comforting it was to know that I had a cup of tea to sip just when the reading became almost unbearable!
This is how a good cup of tea has always been for me. When I see to be in the worst throes of woe or stress, off I hop to my boiler and brew some tea, and, just like Aldous Huxley’s soma in Brave New World, my worries are pushed aside, if only for a moment. Tea is always there when I need it most, Just as it was tea when I studied for the test on this very play, and just about now, when I type this blog and sit here wondering when I shall collapse on my computer and weep over the dissolution I have created for myself.
And, as I drink my tea now, I remember a little phrase my father told me a few weeks ago when I thought the world was going to dissolve the first time. And, yes, I promise, the phrase is related to the merits of tea.
A few weeks back, I was having what doctors medically call, “an acute stress reaction.” I also call it , “I’m panicking, and I can’t vent my panic, so I’m going to call my father and tell him I’m panicking.-this is abbreviated HELP(Hellish Entropy’s Leading Palpitations)”
And yes, for those who are concerned about the meaning of entropy, this is what dictionary.com effectively states as one definition-
“a doctrine of inevitable social decline and degeneration”
I was declining rapidly.
Therefore, what do we do when we are declining rapidly? We call the people who we know who will listen to us and help us even when we act stupidly-we call our parents.
And sure enough, my poor father was on the receiving end.
I would say the exchange went something like this:
“Hello baby!-How are you?”
Well sir, I don’t know.”
Well………….SXFNDNJFXDNTEHTDSZBSDAVADVSCCCASNBDJFNC BADDAY AND I FAILED TO WAKE UP DHTDTJNDJJRYJRJGNXFBSDSVWHEREBY I BEGANB TO FEEL ILLSDFGSGSGSDGSVBVXTO MOMENTS OF MANIC OBSESSIVEBEHAVIORSFJMFHTSDVCSSELFDTHNFDBHDFBIMMOLATIONDHNGDSFGGBSFGFG>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>WHAT DO I DO?
(This quote is not a paraphrase…..)
It is amazing how profound a father can be when pushed to answer. He simply replied
Dear-have a cup of tea and carry on.”
Leaving me stunned
What kind of advice was this?
I drink tea all of the time, and how could continuing to drink it solve my problems? Was this metaphorical?
Could I simply have a cup of tea and carry on?
Suddenly, it was if my eyes had been plucked out, and suddenly my mind’s eye was seeing the truth–he was right.
It has always been true that on my worst days, tea has somehow helped me pull through. When I am depressed, I have tea. When I am tired, I drink tea. When I can’t focus my thoughts for a blog, I have tea, and when I need an effective paper or blog topic, I have tea.
Tea for me is a routine. It is a form of bonding with others(I offer tea as a peace pipe to my enemies, just as I offer it to those I love), it is a comfort when I feel depressed and upset, it calms me when I am anxious, and sometimes, just sometimes, it reminds me of the fact that I am human, I make mistakes, but that, like the tea bag, I must always hold onto the string that anchors me to my little cup of a world to wake up to another day, no matter what type of obstacles may await me.
Converse, too, has become this little teacup of a world for me, and sometimes when I feel I am stuck, I just throw in some of my finest brew(which at the moment is a sweet wild orange Tazo brew), and swirl it around until the world, like that fine cup of tea, seems a little sunnier. Then, as I realize that maybe I’ll pull through King Lear and my own personal blindness, I remember my father’s phrase, and I think to myself-”I think this might be my cup of tea.”