With every sip of tea I drink, my heart goes out to Japan… March 11,2011 Tsunami

Dear Tea Lovers, Dear Blog Readers…

This tiny corner of internet universe, as you know, is dedicated to TEA – my favourite drink for whom I have only a seemingly inexplicable passion and love. I love travel writing, well actually, I like writing in general,  writing as such 🙂 – describing my tiny fragments of life to others  🙂 , another (apart from singing)  form of that most heartwarming life miracle called SHARING. However this particular little project of mine is purely dedicated to that marvelous infusion drank reportedly for over 4000 years thanks to most incredible properties of a humble subspecies of camellia plant, and the genius of people who discovered that by drying and rolling its leaves in various different ways one can achieve thousands of flavours and whole worlds of drinking experiences…

But how can I write about my joys of tasting an excellent cup of hand-rolled oolong when hundreds of thousands of people in Japan – a “second” after China, historically speaking, home to tea, Japan who built its own tea history and contributed so heavily to tea culture – have been misplaced, have lost their everything, have perished in the waves and are still missing and feared dead?

Not that the disaster in Haiti or Christchurch were less terrible and heartbreaking (the blog was set up after Haiti earthquake) but in general the question of “how to write about small-er matters faced with such a tragedy”   (or any other everyday  smaller or bigger tragedies?) keeps popping in my head  together with guilt and sadness…

One friend suggested: Maja, write about JAPANESE teas… to celebrate what Japan has given to us.

Indeed I was going to share here the joy of receiving a package of top quality sencha that a Japanese friend promised to bring for me from his trip back home. He landed on the day of the earthquake,  and it feels awfully wrong to ask about it now, when i look at the BBC news website publishing today the pictures of villages on the North East coast  that were literally entirely swept away, by cruel devastating and unstoppable waves leaving emptiness behind…

Together with the news of the tsunami last Friday I got an email from a family member sharing some sad personal news… A small tragedy too. Far smaller, for sure, embarrassingly smaller, yet saddening too.. I read the email, accepted what I was told, then, without even thinking of it, I made myself a cup of tea to quietly cheer myself up.  Japanese people I met always amazed me with their peaceful approach to life, smile  and kindness offered to everyone, & quiet presence, so much in contrast with the crazy passionate, noisy perhaps and definitely rebel nature I have… I know – that may sound stereotypical (i m sure there are red  & hot blooded Japanese too 🙂 but aren’t we all full of admiration for the country facing “worst crisis since WWII”  and its citizens’ stoicism in coping with something we still find hard to register? And that stoicism, stopping for a while, appreciation and peaceful acceptance, even when dealing with most tragic circumstances, is intricately linked to TEA – after all, the masters of tea who spread the word about its meditation helping qualities were buddhist monks such as Lu Yu  – the ‘Tea Saint’ & probably the most famous Tea writer ever heard of.

It feels so wrongly lighthearted to write about tea in time when so many of my Japanese friends suffer from this terrible tragedy… but even though I may write about such unimportant futile fragile things as tea leaves,  with every sip I drink, my heart goes out to Japan & every sip reminds me about the hope and prayers I keep on in my heart for all those affected by the earthquake.

Petal

PS. The least we can do for our Friends in Japan is donate:

This a link to Red Cross Appeal:

http://www.redcross.org.uk/Donate-Now/Make-a-single-donation/Japan-Tsunami-Appeal

and below links to two interesting articles on the disaster I found online:

http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/sympathy-for-japan-and-admiration/

http://www.penmachine.com/2011/03/modern-japan-saved-lives

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 2:00 AM  Comments (2)  
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