Posts Tagged ‘tea ceremony’

I was just looking at some of my old posts and made a good observation some time before and after the main block of time defined by the pandemic:[*]

*[Side-stepping the fact that the block of time defined by the pandemic varies widely for most people, not excluding the fact that for many there is no “after” to it.]

What I find most interesting is that both posts were about tea. I don’t remember doing that on purpose when I wrote “Tea for Melpomene”. I just remember being relieved to get ANY post written after three years.

Before the lockdown, I was looking for the space – for the ceremony – for the escape. In 2019, I wrote about “thinking of characters in my head that are saving the world somewhere involving the preparation of food on a windy day”.

In the latter post I wrote in italics my thoughts on how a societal lockdown should have been a personal heaven for me:
“We hammered away at the ice wall until the window above the door was visible.
In time we were able to pry it open, our hands bleeding and frozen.
After squeezing through, we moved the weakest of us into deeper chasms to be given aid and manufacture warmth.
The weakest were the first to fight and some would not stay long inside.
Our preparations were more than adequate though we needed to remind ourselves of this.”

Here in 2023, I find myself continuing a ceremony/ritual that I had started, remarkably enough, in 2019. I decided to take time off the week immediately following the clock change for daylight savings. The first time was in 2020 and I took the whole week off. This ended smack dab right before the lockdown itself. I actually went back to work to an empty building and city center in Philly before going home later to work remotely.

The next time I did it was this year, taking 3 days off to go to New York. It’s like I’m almost celebrating a ritual of changing the clocks (that every single person I know hates) and going somewhere to acknowledge it. It would be cool if I had a clock in Queens or somewhere I had to manually change.

Lately I find myself needing to do more than schedule time to go to New York. I need something every day sometimes. A ritual or ceremony to remind me of it, bring me closer to it, etc.

That quote of mine in November of 2022 touches upon some important topics and looking at the two posts emphasizes their importance. I need to take more time to devote to this awareness, this practice, this space where Melpomene is a local lady from South Philly who visits me when I feed the feral cats in my backyard and wants me to write and be well. #pomeeni #phillyaccent

I had originally wanted to dump an idea for mental health awareness into this space, and how I liken it to awareness of the weather for ancient ship captains. Before apps, radios, and engines, those old sea salts would just look at the sky and feel the wind to determine what the weather would be like the next day. Making the correct determination and charting their course appropriately could be the difference between life and death back then.

I see individuals today as those old sea captains were back then…with a need to look to the weather to determine the right course.

This isn’t just something to do every once in a while but more often.

Melpomene in the Vatican. Hopefully I get to see her in August.

“I wanted to be with you alone
And talk about the weather”
-Head Over Heels, Tears for Fears


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tea ceremony


I’m interested in the idea of taking a break for tea, but I don’t have the space for it at work, nor would I want to attempt to acquire it as there are tens of thousands of employees vying for space in the tall office building I work in, surrounded by similar skyscrapers.

What I think is missing from the above ceremony is a dedication to yourself. Everything is spirituality and the workplace, as if those two concepts are related except by personal necessity.

I don’t know about everybody else’s world, but the one I live in needs to be escaped from to keep my sanity. My job is not my spiritual path, but a way to pay my bills and to give my brain it’s daily dose of mental exercise.

My ceremony needs to include a walk outside and thinking of characters in my head that are saving the world somewhere involving the preparation of food on a windy day. In order to facilitate this task, they need to go into an old library with lots of dark wood and dusty attics with creaky desk drawers and an occasional cat and accompanying chihuahua that shouldn’t be free to go upstairs but you can hear him coming because of his nails tapping on the wood floor.

This tea is called Russian Caravan, but I’m not sure it’s Russian. I love Georgian tea, which is close to Russia but still not Russian. Russian Caravan has an interesting story to it’s name: it’s alleged to be oolong tea that was brought in caravans from China and inherited a smoky flavor from the campfires along the way.

“I didn’t say it was true, just that I believe it.” (M. Mignola)

Don’t leave your tea upstairs in the dusty attic unless you finish it first.


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