Hi. I’m Sandra/Sandy/Snady/SHK, and I’m a Tweetspeak Poetry workshopaholic. I want to believe that the investment I make in these workshops will pay off, that I’ll eventually/someday reap what I sow in terms of my bank account. That may or may not happen. But I’m pretty sure that what I invest in self-care is immeasurable in terms of what my outlay could be in physician-care. I’m also sure that this habit is building better life habits, as well as helping me become a better writer. I love the discipline of a class, the accountability to a group of friends, a safe place to explore life as well as words. I like the idea of becoming more literate and finding more ways to leave some kind of mark when I’m gone. I just turned 68 years old, and the contents of my hourglass continue to diminish.
For the next twelve weeks I’ll be immersed in a workshop called “Tea Time: Writing Our Leaves and Our Lives.” (It just started today, and there’s still room for you. Check it out. There’s an eight-week option, too.) I took a poetry workshop with Megan Willome in the fall, and I couldn’t wait to sign up for this one. (By the way, Megan wrote The Joy of Poetry: How to Keep, Save and Make Your Life with Poems last year. It’s part memoir and part poetry and way good reading for poetry lovers and dislikers alike.)
In this workshop we’ll talk about (and drink!) tea and use it as a vehicle for writing about our lives. That means we’re each keeping a tea journal and every day we’ll share the tea we’re drinking and respond to a tea-related prompt. “Think of it as eight weeks of self-care, tea-style, along with a generous spoonful of story, poetry, and writing.” This week our lesson focuses on water, and I’m thinking even tea-dislikers would enjoy it, maybe even find a tea they liked–or could tolerate. There’s something about tea that makes us slow down. It seems to me we could use more slowing down these days.
Anyway, this morning Megan shared just five sentences from her journal to prompt us. She’d bought some kind of mushroom “tea” at her local farmer’s market with an attached tag that read, “Let tea be thy medicine.” The “tea” was strange, she wrote, but the medicinal value was in trying something new.
I realized when I wrote my response that I might actually have a blog post, so I thought I’d share it here, especially since I’ve been neglecting this space–and you.
I’d gone back to coffee as my first-thing-in-the-morning drink. This morning I overslept. Well, actually, I just dozed on and off from about 5:30 when D got up to about 8ish. I decided, since it was time to start Tea Time, I should start the day with tea. I’m drinking Tazo’s Awake English Breakfast tea, “A breakfast-style black tea of malty boldness & bright flavor, invigorating any time of day.” It’s got 61+ mg of caffeine.
The side of the box reads, “The sun peeks over the horizon through the clouds, a star streaks undetected across the sky and the world begins anew. This bold and flavorful blend of black teas will send you down the day’s path wondering where it will take you and if it’s possible to bring along a friend.”
I’m drinking from Steve’s mug. He potted it and gifted it to me, and I’ve been drinking from it every morning for nearly a year since he told me of his bladder cancer diagnosis. I told him I’d do that as a reminder to pray until he got the all-clear. I guess he did in a sense, since he died a little over a week ago. They say it and his Parkinson’s were both a result of Agent Orange. His memorial is this weekend. Maybe I’ll change cups then–or not. Maybe bold teas call for something more substantial while the lighter teas call for something more fragile. Anyway, his death has hit me pretty hard. I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe regret at having lost touch over the years (we graduated from high school together) and only reconnecting in the last few. Maybe anger over the injustice of his suffering and too-soon passing. Maybe because he’s not the first from my graduating class to die, and the realization that I’ve entered “that season.”
My sister texted me these words when I was walking around with a cloud of sadness hovering over me a few days ago: “I think losing touch just is what it is–just what happens. Everyone goes different directions and starts walking down their own paths. It’s actually a blessing when we’re able to reconnect with someone–a gift we shouldn’t overlook–or beat ourselves up that we didn’t receive it sooner. I supposed there’s truth to getting “that age”–our mortality is more obvious. You need to focus on what a joy it was to see him–to have that keepsake–keeping him in that piece of your heart. Don’t minimize the gift by questioning its timing.” My Sissy is very wise.
The other day I asked a simple question on Facebook and got so many interesting answers–and suggestions of new teas to try. I simply asked, “Do you like tea?” So, do you? If so, what do you like about it? If not, what don’t you like? And have you ever questioned the timing of a gift?