A Cup of Hot Tea
Some folks brew their tea until it’s the deepest color of that particular brew; I let the teabag reach a pale hue and then tug it out of the water. Some folks keep the cover on, or a lid on their cup to keep in the heat. I remove the cover, expose the tea to the air and hope for quick cooling—tepid tea or tea straddling? Does the desire to wait for tea to reach a lukewarm state extend to other ways of looking at the world?
Two days ago I finished reading Reality Hunger by David Shields. Some critics heralded it as a new manifesto, others decreed it a morass of quick jibes at fiction and the writing of narrative. I neither fully embraced his words nor fully dismissed his words. It's bracing to read of someone who wrestles with the "how to" of writing in our era. I do love a story, but I want my story to move away from an "and then and then and then" --moving inch by inch to a preordained conclusion. But I can't jump on the bandwagon; I can walk beside the wagon.
Nancy Drew's 80th birthday must mean something. The Poison Pen Bookstore is throwing a party.
A woman at the small table across from my aerie just said, “It’s quite good, isn't it." Her British accent carries the sentence to a deeper level.
Did she read my mind or is the comment regarding something else? Is this what Shields meant by creating a collage?
"My sister has fifteen more little sheep coming. Yes, she's still in South Wales."
My eavesdropping results in the realization that she sprinkles her sentences with " mustn't it" and "oh, right" and "you see".
"They also do a very nice cup of tea here. They have little pouches."
I never did read a single Nancy Drew book. I do recall borrowing Nobody's Boy and Nobody's Girl by Hector Merlot from our library. At ten, I thought they were masterpieces. I've been afraid to find them and reread them lest an icon be trashed or put in perspective.
Straddling the fence is a national pastime. Wait; let me see what the others say, where my bread will be better buttered. Yet, a pedantic stand has a corrosive effect on relations.
How much did I think about sacred space before reading Mircea Eliade's book: The Sacred and the Profane? When sitting in the Kiva at Chaco Canyon I knew the space felt holy. Did those feelings arise because the space was sacred or because I had read all about the religious rites of the inhabitants of Chaco?
I don't know. I sometimes wish that the big questions came with directions for arriving at definitive answers. Eventually we all need to come down on one side or another, even while holding on to doubts. Doubts are like life preservers tethering us to the profane world, but allowing us to also live in the sacred world.
At times I wish for a cup of hot tea with all the sting of something too hot, yet full bodied.