Sunday, November 07, 2010

Starting over.

It has been a long time since I had any sort of meaningful experience with tea. At some point I just... gave up. Looking back, I think one can see this in my last several entries; fearing that I would lose some important part of my life if I accepted my budding lack of interest, I desperately grasped at new ways to find meaning in the hobby I had spent so much time exploring. Sometimes it even worked, however briefly.

But sometimes we just have to let ourselves let go. Do I regret that I gave up on a beautiful thing, a creative outlet, and a means to meet interesting people and have stimulating discussion? Absolutely— I'd be stupid not to. But did dwelling on it accomplish anything?

Over the past year (probably even longer) I often had the thought, "I really should put together a new post..." I would look over at my tea stash and associate it with the burden of taking photos, looking up information, writing, formatting, etc.; it got to the point where I felt obligated to write about tea whenever I so much as looked at it. This obligation eventually turned into a weird guilty feeling I couldn't help but dwell on, and, well, it's no surprise that tea lost its magic.

Dwelling on guilt is an incredibly easy way of telling ourselves how much better we could be— how much better we should be. You know what? Screw that. You're just as shitty a person as you know you are; no more, no less.

"Quitters never win and winners never quit." A noble sentiment, but ultimately harmful. Does this mean we fail every time life takes us down a new road? Is one failure all it takes to permanently label us as failures? Where did we get this notion that we have to, or are even able to, win everything? Why do some of us give ourselves endless amounts of grief for not achieving the level of perfection we expect?

Take comfort in your revolting humanity, the piss-poor excuse of a god that you've become. Suffering from guilt is not righteous suffering, and freeing yourself from it is not a resignation to complacency but rather the first step in getting out of your own damn way.

All this to say, hopefully I can put this mode of thinking behind me and start (among other things) enjoying tea again. And who knows? Once that happens, maybe I'll start writing again, but forget about regular updates for the sake of regular updates.

Fortunately, my readers are used to waiting. :)

2 comments:

Adam said...

"Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life..."
"The outsider may indeed wonder at this seeming much ado about nothing. What a tempest in a tea-cup! he will say. But when we consider how small after all the cup of human enjoyment is, how soon overflowed with tears, how easily drained to the dregs in our quenchless thirst for infinity, we shall not blame ourselves for making so much of the tea-cup. Mankind has done worse. In the worship of Bacchus, we have sacrificed too freely; and we have even transfigured the gory image of Mars. Why not consecrate ourselves to the queen of the Camelias, and revel in the warm stream of sympathy that flows from her altar? In the liquid amber within the ivory-porcelain, the initiated may touch the sweet reticence of Confucius, the piquancy of Laotse, and the ethereal aroma of Sakyamuni himself..."
"For Teaism is the art of concealing beauty that you may discover it, of suggesting what you dare not reveal. It is the noble secret of laughing at yourself, calmly yet thoroughly, and is thus humour itself, --the smile of philosophy..."
-Okakura, Kakuzo

I think you set the bar too high and put too much pressure on yourself. You are the only one blogging of this quality, surely we will wait patiently for what you have to say. Don't force it, let it inspire you, as you have inspired us.

If we can see the universe in a teacup, our infinitesimal significance will be dwarfed by the immensity of such a state of infinitude.

Better yet, if we can drink from that universe in a teacup.

Some drink from the tea of life horizontally and some drink vertically. The horizontal drinkers are perpetually thirsty for the fleeting vanities of earthly desires. They see only materialism, co-dependency, what is given and what is taken away.
The vertical drinkers are never thirsty. They sit patiently, sipping tea from the infinite on the crown of their head, on up, expanding outward and encompassing absolutely everything. They are complete without the slavery of finite contingencies. When they look at the fleeting earthly desires they say,
"This is infinite and complete. That is infinite and complete. From the infinite, you can not add or subtract, the infinite always remains infinite. Peace, Peace, Peace."

This is my abstract way of telling you to not take this blog writing so seriously. Love it as it is, when it is, for what it is, and we will love it likewise.

Peace,


Adam

Oriental Tea said...

We all go peak and valleys with our interest in things, it's normal and impossible to predict.

Explore other things, and if you're interest it tea returns while you're away, all the better!

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