Tea Time is the BEST fucking time. Listen. I don’t know when I became a tea toddling little smartass but sometimes all I can do to get my wits about me these days is to put on the kettle. I come from Romanian and German descent. Not a drop of British blood in me but I feel the need for a speedy cup of something hot and medium bodied. I like my tea dark. I like it best in the mid afternoon hours and then after the sun sets. I should be inserting some pun about men here but let’s get real, most can’t compete with a good cup of tea. Ever since I started working out more regularly, I’ve had to cut down on things like wine because sugar is a thing. Adulting is a thing. I try to eat smart and balance out the vices. The sweet nectar that is a glass of wine is absolutely divine but sparsity is the mother of good intentions. And coffee, so perfectly ready to greet me with open arms in the early hours of the morning - so full of that rich and intoxicating aroma - and dancing on my pallet like a mother fucking God, somehow never holds the same appeal as the day moves forward. I need the fairy spark that is a cup of tea. There is a ritual to making tea. The ritual in itself the divine center that makes tea an eventful and reflective part of my day.
“When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?”
― Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
And I am not alone in feeling the pull of hour as I get closer to tea time. Ever since my brother got hurt, he too has started to embrace the tea toddling lifestyle. He now makes himself a cup of tea every night before he settles down to paint a little bit, when he can paint. He has admitted that making tea is now part of his routine, taking away some his anxiety about painting since for a long time it was wrapped in pain. It still is, sadly. But he tries to embrace the moments before and after he paints more thoroughly, allowing his mind and body to understand each other and forgive the pain that will lead to his anxiety. Mindfulness has become a part of his routine. Through the physical and mental therapies he undergoes every day, he has learned to live more slowly and listen to the sound of each moment. Listen to his body. Listen to calm and embrace the good when it is good, and accept the bad when it too rears it’s horned face in his direction. It is funny to watch my brother drink tea. This was a big guy who powerlifted in his spare time, powerlifted impressive weights, consumed the shakes and calories in order to main this type of lifestyle, and took his physical training so seriously that he thought of competing at an amateur level. After getting hurt and dealing with all the subsequent consequences, including the toll that the hurt and pain took on his mind, he has learned to live more slowly. It’s strange how we are reduced, so quickly and thoroughly, to our smaller states when faced with great strife. In getting beat down, it’s as if our footprint in the universe becomes smaller. So we become smaller. And our perspective from this new smaller state forces us to view ourselves and the world around us differently. It is destabilizing. It is as if looking at everything with new eyes. Learning to see, smell and touch all over again. All of it so strange and so foreign. Perhaps it is no surprise that new tools are needed to deal with the onslaught of so much stimulation. And tea has come in handy. It has been a comforting friend, consistent and welcoming. The routine allows for silence and reflection. It allows for colour to reach the surface of the water, swirling with so much beauty and absolution. Then sometimes we add milk. Or no milk. Sometimes, if it is too late for caffeinated tea, I pick something green and herbal, maybe with a bear on the cover so that I can snooze myself to Neverland. My brother will choose to keep it black. He will drink tea and paint. I will get on the computer and do some bookkeeping and sip at my cup. My brother will paint sometimes for ten minutes, sometimes twenty, sometimes longer. He will paint until his back forces him to stop, or the tingling in his fingers and arms get too much, or he will get dizzy and put down his brush. He will close his eyes. He will drink from his tea cup and allow the terrible moments to pass. So we journey forward, everyday a freaking mystery but at least we can rely on a good cup of tea to get us through the day. Cimpoe Gallery out
(Love that new print Lavender Tea Cup by my brother. Absolutely stunning. Find it on the art/shop page.. Additional images are credited to Family Guy. Like there is any need for me to say it. You know it. Get the fuck out of here!)