Wednesday, September 2, 2009

61) tea, teacups, and writing


the literary life 9/2/09

I like drinking tea. I like drinking it when I first wake up, when I get back from work, when I write, and when I read. I find drinking tea both energizing and soothing. A few years ago, I kind of became obsessed with tea and read a few history books on the subject. While I've forgotten much of what I read, I remember that tea rituals vary from culture to culture (for example, the notion of a teacup isn't the same in every country). Many Asian cultures do not put milk in tea; however, the British, historically speaking, liked to drink tea out of dainty teacups. To preserve their aesthetic, they would pour in milk before the tea, so the hot liquid, when poured, would be tempered a bit and not break the cup. I, too, believe in having the right teacup. The picture posted above depicts one of my favorite tea drinking cups. I use it several times a week. And because there's writing on it, the cup kind of reminds me that I need to get to the page. The taste of a sweet cup of tea sweetens my writing life. What would we do without these ordinary pleasures? They are what sustain us, what life orbits around. In a way, my writing orbits around the cups of tea and pieces of chocolate I consume. I enjoy a daily dose of decadence (and alliteration). Here are some of my favorite tea quotes:
Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.
~Catherine Douzel
While there's tea there's hope.
- Sir Arthur Pinero
There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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