2014 Du Quan puerh from Essence of Tea
Sampling some newly pressed sheng puerh from this year’s spring harvest. It’s the teas that linger pleasantly in the body and haunt the mind long after, beckoning return, that are worth seeking out. Such is the hallmark of great beauty. A memorable tea, a moving piece of music, a great work of art… momentary blessings can sometimes etch deeply into the soul.
“It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.” Voltaire
“Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil.” -Kahil Gibran
The Further You Go
by Andrew Colliver (1953 – )
Mercy, there have been revelations.
Grace, there has been realisation. Still, you must
travel the path of time and circumstance.
The further you go, the more it comes back to paying attention.
The rough skin of the tallowwood, the trade routes of lorikeets, a sky lifting
behind afternoon clouds. Staying close to the texture of things.
People can go before you and talk all they want,
but only one thing makes sense: the way the world enters
and finds its voice in you: the place you are free.
Even if you intellectually understand what things are in themselves, if they linger on as objects of inspection there is no benefit in such understanding. In order to acquaint your intellect with what intrinsically matters, you must go into the wild wood of inner calm.
There are two ways to make and enjoy tea. You can boil the water to the right temperature, measure your tea leaves carefully, time your infusions just right, all in the proper way. Your tea will be more or less good or bad. You’ll have the occasional great tea but will mostly find flaws.
Or you can forget the rules and simply make tea. It’s best enjoyed when you keep your mind empty and let the tea be whatever it is.
(painting is not much different)
“Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life: in understanding as in creating.
There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke (from Letters to A Young Poet)