As I set up for tea this morning, near but not in the snug, this piece of original art on our wall, a watercolor of river irises by Doug Racich, proudly bears the quality of a scroll in a tokonoma. Tea flowers are getting easier! On a trip to Seattle for a tea festival several years ago, one of our wholesalers hosted a Japanese tea ceremony demo. Afterward, in chatting with the teaist, I asked why there were no flowers for the ceremony. She gently explained to me that if I looked closely, the fan she had hung in the tea space had beautiful flowers painted on it. Why would we want to insult the artist by placing another floral arrangement in the same space? So, in looking around my tea space today, I realized there was no need to stress over flowers for tea. I would never want to insult the artist!
- Tea – Matcha Harmony
- Sweet – round ohigashi
- Chawan – Korean-style grey bowl
- Natsume – plain crimson laquerware from Japan
- Obon – Swedish tray
- Tetsubin – heavy hive pot
- Kensui – locally made by Northport Pottery
I am working my way through all the ceremonies I have learned over the years. On this third day of April, my third quarantea, the ceremony was the third one I learned, obon shin. According to Roo sensei, it means truth. Every time I practice this ceremony, I think about that word, truth. Sometimes I try out synonyms: correct, right, real, honest, what is… I do not know why this temae is called truth. It seems that every tea ceremony is about truth.
Reflecting on tea today, this morning’s ceremony truly felt like all those words, correct, right, real, honest, what is, truth. Shifting work/life schedules has allowed me to take a closer look, again at what is my truth.