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scotttea
17 May 2008 @ 10:53 pm
All summed-up by these four words? Yes and no. I haven't written much in this journal, though from time to time I use it to inform myself with the world outside my immediate reach. However, I guess today is a fine time to write.
Procrastinating a paper is only a clue to my current happenings. I am finishing up a year at Berkeley. Precisely, my first year at Berkeley. Its been fun, and hard, and hard again. All to be expected from the Bay Area's number-one Ivory Tower/boot camp establishment. Teachers are engaging, the books ranging from dusty to dull to the occasional eyebrow raiser. Yet the work they produce is mind numbing. Welcome to my world.
As the world of books and academia take their due toll on me, I try to find the time to actually live (unless you consider sitting in a library for hours on end life...enjoy if you do). I steal hours away at the local cafe (hurray for Nefeli's), walk along wooded paths, and take the long way home (well, not that it needs to be any longer...I live in San Francisco and commute every morning). Despite what might seem like the jack boot pounding in my face for all eternity (to paraphrase Orwell), I find a unique solace in all of it. It is a scholar's life, akin to those of premodern China, who learned all they could of history, and yet pursued the world around them.
Climbing like lemurs up winding crags, envisioning vistas only obtainable from heights yet unseen, their world was at times something unobtainable within the dirty truths of their existence. I feel the same way. Art, tea, the Qin, all give me longing respites to this day in, day out. If only to find the uniting element. Ah, thats the rub. Ah, perhaps its tea. Only time will tell.
Now, as I procrastinate a little longer, I tell myself all will be okay, and I know it will. Angie is gone in Korea, doing what she will do. I, in California, the same. And when tomorrow comes, I'll start anew, and continue my life, my game.
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All summed-up by these four words? Yes and no. I haven't written much in this journal, though from time to time I use it to inform myself with the world outside my immediate reach. However, I guess today is a fine time to write.
Procrastinating a paper is only a clue to my current happenings. I am finishing up a year at Berkeley. Precisely, my first year at Berkeley. Its been fun, and hard, and hard again. All to be expected from the Bay Area's number-one Ivory Tower/boot camp establishment. Teachers are engaging, the books ranging from dusty to dull to the occasional eyebrow raiser. Yet the work they produce is mind numbing. Welcome to my world.
As the world of books and academia take their due toll on me, I try to find the time to actually live (unless you consider sitting in a library for hours on end life...enjoy if you do). I steal hours away at the local cafe (hurray for Nefeli's), walk along wooded paths, and take the long way home (well, not that it needs to be any longer...I live in San Francisco and commute every morning). Despite what might seem like the jack boot pounding in my face for all eternity (to paraphrase Orwell), I find a unique solace in all of it. It is a scholar's life, akin to those of premodern China, who learned all they could of history, and yet pursued the world around them.
Climbing like lemurs up winding crags, envisioning vistas only obtainable from heights yet unseen, their world was at times something unobtainable within the dirty truths of their existence. I feel the same way. Art, tea, the Qin, all give me longing respites to this day in, day out. If only to find the uniting element. Ah, thats the rub. Ah, perhaps its tea. Only time will tell.
Now, as I procrastinate a little longer, I tell myself all will be okay, and I know it will. Angie is gone in Korea, doing what she will do. I, in California, the same. And when tomorrow comes, I'll start anew, and continue my life, my game.
<img src="<a href="http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f52/scotttea/?action=view&current=100_4814.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f52/scotttea/100_4814.jpg" border="0" alt="Study in Repetition"></a>" />
 
 
Current Mood: pensivepensive
 
 
scotttea
04 January 2007 @ 02:16 am
What comes from sharing tea,
With friends or passersby?
Would they stop and share with me,
And give my drink a try?

With warmth and care it was prepared,
And for them I made it true.
For on this world nothing compares,
To tea I share with you.

Come summer’s heat or winter’s chill,
It changes day by day.
And yet my tea does and often will,
Simply interplay.

So nothing comes from sharing tea,
And this I’ve always known.
Yet passersby are now my friends,
And through tea our friendship’s grown.
 
 
Current Location: On the mantle
Current Mood: Oligarchic
Current Music: Belle and Sebastian: Beautiful....She laid in bed all night.
 
 
scotttea
25 July 2006 @ 08:50 pm
Life is interesting now-a-days. I'm living on the edge of a new life in San Francisco, just days before I call the place home. I'll be moving into a little Victorian/Edwardian number near the Panhandle. The house is long, dark and, yes, handsome. I hope to turn my room into a teahouse (chashistu), maybe with tatami (money pending). I've planned my budget to include tea classes with a good friend of mine who owns a teashop in Japantown. Maybe you've heard of it...White Crane Tea. If not, I HIGHLY recommend it!
On the eve of this move, I have found some time to take it all in...the changes, the season, the people and the world. All seems to be in chaos at the moment. Too many people dying as usual. War, as Genshitsu Sen, the recently retired head of the Urasenke school, said, is a complete waste...worthless. I agree. Tea, among many things, has helped me to cement this belief within my mind. Too easy can it be to hate. I used to do it far too often and with far too much passion. Alas, with tea, by preparing a bowl of macha and offering it to another, regardless of state or stature, all hatred seems to melt away. Try making tea for your enemy...I bet you will hate him/her less once they've accepted it.
Besides war and realizing how, in many ways, it is just a means to distract the mind and resources from more greater challenges, I have been keeping myself busy with life...and finding my tao. Part of this effort, oddly enough, has been my entry into the job force working as a receptionist for a small university whose goal is to synthesize world spirituality and politics. On the surface, this might seem the very opposite to my beliefs but, delve a bit deeper and you'll see how I fit in.
I've never been religious. Never. But I have grown to understand how important spirituality is in shaping our daily lives. I practice Soto Zen Buddhism to understand Chanoyu and I read the histories of the Inquisition and the Crusades to come to terms with what is going on in today's world. Maybe by committing myself to something that forces me to accept that many people are influenced by "sacred texts" and the lives of the saintly I can come to understand how people work. And, as well, I hope to use my position to influence those around me (perhaps through tea).
So, that is basically my life recently in a nutshell. I've continued to drink tea. Continued to enjoy the passing of time. And continued to take in the world around me. I hope to find some respite in my new home and, maybe, set up a new center for tea and arts there. Its a good possibility I shall continue to strengthen my knowledge of tea and understanding of my world. Until then...^_^
 
 
Current Location: Home...home
Current Music: The sound of water
 
 
scotttea
02 July 2006 @ 08:46 pm
Moving Out,
Is spinning, swirling, garbage collecting on the floor.
Old things coming to light, coming about again to view and packed away.
Off they’ll go, into boxes, into boxes and into boxes.
And away I’ll be to make my life in a city.
There to brew my tea in new rooms,
To learn new wisdom in new lands, in other places.
And gone I’ll be from my life of four years,
Gone now and packed away.
 
 
scotttea
28 March 2006 @ 11:41 pm
Santa Cruz Society for Tea

It has crossed the lips of emperors and hermits since prehistory. It has been the cause of war and the inspiration for peace. And though slaves may oversee its harvest, it still has the power to cultivate the freedom of our minds. We speak of tea when we mention all of these. It is beautiful and paradoxical. Simple yet infinitely complex. It is delicate and yet its traditions, cultures and history are stalwart to the changes of time. All of this, however, will not be true if nothing is done to maintain the integrity of this “enlightened” plant. For this reason, and many more, we, the citizens of Santa Cruz and, indeed, the world, must come together to promote the drinking, understanding and sharing of tea.
We do not wish to guard its secrets. We only hope to spread the hospitality it induces. We want to let others know that a tea life is a better life; where appriciation of things, big and small, can go hand and hand with the savoring of a dewy cup no larger than a flower’s petal. But let me end this call to action and refrain from any more demands to the ear. Just let me put out the word that has been spoken since the ages and let me raise a cup in the hope for humanity and provide a means for those whose minds wander for more in life. I call for a community to be established to enable their curiosity unfold and unfurl, as the spring shoots have done for all time.
This is an idea I have held within me for sometime and, I cannot deny, has been inspired by those around me as well. Many within my life have called for such a society to be established. From my friends in Santa Cruz to my companions around the globe, many have asked for such a common gathering to come to fruition. We will need everyone’s help in doing this. We will require that each give their input. But I must ask that none of us desire anything more than to let a lifestyle flourish under its own momentum. We must not alter our world before we alter ourselves first. We must seek to remedy that what ails us before we attempt to grasp out. We must use what we know to further our knowledge and only through that can we make progress. This is what I hope to accomplish through the creation of society for tea.
“How will we change the world, then?” one might ask. The answer is simple. We will act as examples. We will offer the hospitality that we offer to ourselves in the name of universal good. We already know that much is wrong in this world and that we alone cannot ever cure these problems. Slavery, racism, poverty and greed have swept over this planet in an alarming rate and to many a real end is in view. I too share this sentiment but feel that such perversions can be halted if we all begin to understand how much we can change our world through ourselves. I hope that the simple act of taking tea will help us all along this path.
My teacher once told me that taking things slow is the sign of a true master. I believe he was dead on when he said this and feel that if a society of tea is to be established, we must first take it slow. I propose that research should be done to find a basis to our beliefs. We must study-up on the history of tea, the cultures it’s touched and what it is doing in the world today. We must attempt to see tea as it is, not as we want it to be and from that we can truly evaluate how we as a community of tea drinkers fit into the vast mosaic that makes up the world that surrounds this little plant. Many of my friends have begun this in earnest and history shows that many others have done so as well. We must collect what is out there to gain a greater perspective of what is known and what is yet known.
Relating directly to this is the notion that the consumption of tea is beneficial to one’s health. Much scientific research has bolstered this idea greatly yet to many, tea is still nothing more than a substitute for coffee. I feel as part of our duty as a society for tea, we must do all that is in our capacity to put forward the facts that come with a tea life and finally bring people closer to realizing that tea can become part of their daily ritual. Furthermore, I feel that it is essential to show others how a life of organic products, originating from organic practices can create a safer, healthier body, lifestyle and environment. To do this, I hope we can all become examples to the world.
Finally, to do all that has been discussed above, I call on all of us to find ways to spread our ideas to a receptive world. I have found that the Internet, with its ability to connect the world at a rapid pace without the direct destruction of our fragile ecosystem is a wonderful way to do this. As well, the simple act of teaching through word of mouth has also proven to be a powerful means of communicating our life philosophies. Furthermore, I call upon all of us to share the drink of tea. I feel that it is only through this that we can finally capture people’s hearts and minds. Whether it be through the whisking of a bowl of matcha or via the insulated heat of a tiny yixing teapot, we must remember that tea has always had its roots intertwined with humanity. We must show the world how to make a cup of tea right and how through traditional methods we can ponder about our own times. We are a busy people. Desire haunts our every action yet I know we can combat our muddy existence. Let us find the time to take pause and reflect as we stare into the glowing abyss that we find within a cup of tea.
 
 
 
scotttea
14 March 2006 @ 12:27 am
Okay...the last entry promised images...well...here they are. I hope you enjoy. They sort of attempt to capture the idea of wabi, a concept which is fleeting and perfect in its imperfection. Enjoy and write back on the matter!

Here is my gaiwan the first day back in Santa Cruz.

A bit of my room.

Colby's oolong pot and teaboat!!




I find that images of leaves help to focus me on the now. They are perfect, withering away as nature intends them. Also, they tend to gain in beauty as they age until they crinkle and crumble into dust. I find that this is the essence of wabi, the realization of everythings inherent beauty in simplicity and time!




These are images I took while I was in Paris. This is my first tea session I had there, a simple but tasty oolong from the states. It instantly took me back to life in Santa Cruz whilst I was amidst the hussle and bussle of Paris. It was a good way to make a time to reflect and a wonderful reason to bring out the camera and capture something I had never yet attempted. The leaves of the oolong appear almost as a leathery kelp forest and, when in motion, they swirled and tumbled like the thick blades of a California kelp frond. It was beautiful and, like all things, passed away with time.

Well, thats it for now. I'll have more photos. Next time I hope to discuss the beauty of tea houses and maybe I'll have some pictures of some. I already have lots so maybe I'll be kind and show you some. Until next time!
 
 
scotttea
26 January 2006 @ 10:18 am
Here are some images to think about. I hope you like them. Please...when you look at them, look for what there is and what there isn't. Like in the tea ceremony, or tea itself (and even life), what there is to be seen is always counter-balanced by the void which encompasses everything and nothing. As I once said, "The mind contemplates, A box defined by its space, Inside is a maze." Thus, what we can see is always defined by what we cannot. And what we cannot see, we create that to which we can. As in the tea ceremony, where silence is filled with contemplation or in a forest, where a bare rock is balanced by what is around and under it, the void in life is always accented by that in which it holds.

***Well...I guess there will be no images...I don't know how to enter them into my journal. So, ponder to what they will be as one ponders and knows that in the coldest of winters, under the deepest of snow drifts, there exists the ever present, ever persistent movement and material of the roots, the animals and the soil beneath. What you see before you is a void, what you imagine is your own. Reflect upon this and in it you will come closer to realizing your self.***
 
 
scotttea
24 January 2006 @ 03:25 am
Hey all, I know I don't do much for this little journal.  In truth, I do hate online journals.  So self-absorbed (maybe).  Anyway, I contradict myself a lot.  What I'm hoping to get across in this, though, is just another way to connect with people in the hopes they can openly share their thoughts.  Maybe one can call this a forum, not a journal.  Isn't that the core of what one of these things is anyways.  So, good.  Maybe we (those who are reading this) can all put in our own thoughts, a call and response in the improvisational jazz sense of the phrase.  So write...I want to see it!  I'll write you back, or not, but I'll try to stay somewhat committed to this damn thing.  Just know I am trying...or I'll tell you if I'm not.  Thanks and sorry for the colloquialisms.

 
 
Current Mood: awake