Sunday, December 2, 2012

Come on in, have a seat, I'll put the kettle on

Greetings! It's a pleasure to meet you. Allow me to introduce myself.

To begin with, I'm a tea enthusiast. I believe there aren't many things in life that can't be figured out, among friends or confidants, over a warm cuppan of tea. 

Tea has been used for a myriad of purposes over the many many long centuries of its existence. Somewhat serendipitously discovered in 2737 as a few leaves from the Camellia Sinensis tea fell into Emporer Shen Nung's water as he boiled it beneath the shade of its tree. He found the lightly-flavored liquid to be quite pleasing, and tea was born. 

Utilized since discovery in countless traditions, tea has become known as a natural powerhouse for a broad spectrum of health benefits. It has somehow accomplished even more in terms of diplomacy. In Kakuzo Okakura's, “The Book of Tea” the mysteries of the East were unveiled to a cynical Western world with tea as the key conduit towards commonality and mutual understanding. In Okakura's words, "The heaven of modern humanity is indeed shattered in the Cyclopean struggle for wealth and power. The world is groping in the shadow of egotism and vulgarity. Knowledge is bought through a bad conscience, benevolence practised for the sake of utility. The East and West, like two dragons tossed in a sea of ferment, in vain strive to regain the jewel of life…Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.”

Beautiful. How could any human not feel the harmony in that statement? Over one-hundred years have elapsed since that was written, and yet it resonates stronger with the world we know, than ever.

Which brings me to the "Sympathy" segment of this story. Back to my original statement - I believe that tea is the perfect accompaniment to problem-solving. I intend this blog to be one part tea, one part investigation of the aesthetic and one part problem-solving. I think we all need to help each other more. I've recently reached the decision that everybody is capable of giving great guidance when they're removed from the situation. However, judgment always seems to get so easily clouded when it comes to our own affairs. Conversely, we all need some help now and then. Whether it's someone to confirm whether the decision we spent many sleepless nights debating over is the best one, counsel on how to respond to various sticky situations we encounter in our day-to-day, whether it be in our professional or personal lives. Sometimes, more than anything else we just need to know that someone else is listening. We need to vent, to scream out into the silent wilderness of the universe and let our frustration be known. I want to provide a platform this spectrum of human experience. This is to be a forum and a discussion.

I am by no means a professional, qualified, or arrogant enough to believe I know anything at all about anything. Which is why I hope this turns into a community of anonymity. I am but one person, with one very specific life experience. I hope to contribute my common human experience, as you will as well. I'm a bit old fashioned, and am not usually very plugged-in. However, I feel in an instance such as this, there may be some benefits to connecting in such a way. Hopefully it will be liberating and maybe even helpful to someone in the future.

There you have it: my intentions and aspirations. So please come on in, take a seat and make yourself at home. I'll put the kettle on, and be right back with two still-steaming cups; we'll figure this all out.