Hello Word Artists and Admirers! While this pandemic has limited a lot of my activities, it hasn’t stopped my tea lessons. In some ways I’m more active with my studies than ever, as my teachers and fellow students have been having more conversations around the art of tea over email. One of the things we’ve been discussing is the idea of seasons and how being an observer of nature plays a part in our tea practice. In the ancient Japanese calendar there are 72 microseasons, each one describing natural phenomena that define that time period. According to that calendar we are currently in the one called “The First Paulownia Fruit Ripen”.
We’ve had a few conversations about taking the base idea of microseasons and rethinking what they would look like in our Southeastern Pennsylvania climate. I suppose I’d call this time, “Crickets singing in afternoon showers” because I’ve noticed their chirping getting louder in the afternoon and we’ve had a ton of rain. I’ve been a very casual observer of nature for years, but it would take several years (at least) to really get a feel for the patterns down to that detail.
The name of this song, Ka Chou Fuu Getsu literally means Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon
and is a phrase often used to describe the idea of finding yourself by experiencing the beauty of nature.
Fortunately writing is always in season. Let’s take care of some housekeeping first.
- Rosemary shines a spotlight on the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz in this last Wild Friday's feature.
- Next Wednesday, for our Weekly Scribblings #30: Writing as Metaphor for Living, Magaly invites us to write new poetry or prose which includes 3 or more of the following writing related terms: allusion, conflict, edit, fiction, grammar, mood, pace, plot, poetry, prose, punctuation, rhythm, stanza. The actual words, or derivatives of them, should be part of your poetry or prose.
The floor is now yours. Share a piece of poetry or prose, old or new, fiction or non-fiction. Just remember one submission per person, and if you are moved to contribute prose, please keep it to 369 words or fewer.
Thanks, Rommy. I'm glad your tea lessons can continue. It's not quite the same – far from it in fact – but after a lifetime of preferring coffee I've suddenly discovered there are fascinating herbal teas I never knew about, which I am loving. For the longest time, I only knew about chamomile and peppermint (OK but a bit boring) rosehip (horrible) and lemon ginger (the only one I really liked). Now I am delighting in cinnamon, cinnamon and orange, forest fruits, peach and pineapple ... etc. etc. I still love my coffee first thing in the morning, and other times, but I'm also enjoying some delectable tea during the day. I am quite sure I will never take it as seriously as you do, but I have pleasure in knowing that somebody does (many people, no doubt) and in having expanded my own awareness.ReplyDelete
PS I adore the idea of micro seasons with special names. I'm afraid, however, that our present one here could only be called 'rain sets in'.Delete
Most of my go-to teas are derived from the camellia sinensis plant (green, black, white, oolong, pu-ehr) but I like my evening tisanes (all teas not made from camellia sinensis). Usually I'll stick with something with a bit of a berry flavoring or my favorite mint and vanilla blend.Delete
LOL, my husband is a coffee drinker like you and I've seen that joy in a coffee drinker's eye when they have that first sip of the day.
We don't have any tea lessons here, not that I know of, so I would love to read and see more about yours, Rommy! I also like the idea of micro seasons with special names. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Kim! I'll try to remember to work some of the things I pick up during lessons into some of my posts.Delete
I'm really enchanted by the idea of microseasons. A friend of mine just gave me a gorgeous new notebook and I'm strongly considering using it to write down my observations. LOL, I just know that there will be times I deviate from poetic sounding names (like the above mentioned Crickets Singing in Afternoon Showers) to something a little more irreverent (The First Morning My Nightshirt isn't Sticking to Me When I Walk the Dog).
Hi there Rommy and All,ReplyDelete
Good to be back at Poets United… Hope you are all well and are still managing to shine in your spirit through the current crisis. I was fortunate to go to Japan the once and was introduced to tea ceremonies and the venerate of tea in that glorious country - quite an experience, which I would recommend if you get the chance to go.
The thing is I've just been so crazy busy, since Spring this year and the release of my first new collection for four years! Pranic Poetry - see link below... Which to be entirely honest with you all, I had pre-imagined to be my least accessible and commercial collection yet! Which instead, has ended up really taking off somehow! Not sure what all that's about?
But I reckon it's got something to do around the Pandemic somehow making folk suddenly much more open and reflective about life and indeed their own lives. Seems to have suddenly opened me up to a wider audience still, that perhaps left to their own instincts and predisposition's pre-crisis, wouldn't previously have given my work much of a chance? Given what I write about...
I expect many of you might well be experiencing a similar uplift in attention, since Lockdowns were introduced? And was something I was going to bring up with all you guys and gals, the first time I got the chance to post this, the release of my first previously unpublished poem since Lockdown.
Anyway, that's probably enough ramble from me already! Already Looking forward to reading all your new stuff this afternoon, as it’s been some ago now, since I’ve been able to pay a visit.
So jealous! Some of my fellow students have been (LOL, a lot of them since many are ex-pats from Japan) and we keep talking about making a group trip out there once this madness is over.Delete
Congrats on the new book! That's awesome news. Yes, I've been doing quite a bit of reading of both poetry and prose. I added nice thick collection of Mary Oliver's poetry, but I definitely have room to add more books of poetry. :)
That link doesn't work, Scott. However it was easy to find your book on Amazon by just searching the title. Thanks for letting us know about it.Delete
Happy Sunday, OMG i know what you mean Rommy, i can buy fruit on the street again and this week pineapples was my delightReplyDelete
There is something delicious about be able to do one of the things we took for granted during this pandemic. I'll bet that pineapple tasted extra sweet. Here's to more happy days picking out the perfect fruit under the sunshine. :)Delete
One from the vault, way back to 2012. A summer break is refreshing, but the urge to put pen to paper remains.ReplyDelete
I know I get twitchy if I go too long without writing...even when it's my idea to do so. :DDelete
I love the tea lessons, their connection to nature. I'm sharing the next addition to Voodoo Annie.ReplyDelete
Woot! I look forward to reading it. :)Delete
Rommy, I hope you share your micro season research with us. I was just thinking what sort of observations one would make around my area. Can the seasons include man-made things? I'm ask because I can't imagine trying to do the same in NYC without involving traffic.ReplyDelete
Ha! Yes, some places absolutely have their seasons defined by the weird doings of the humans going about their business. The first week of September would be "Leave Early to Factor School Bus Routes and Tractors in Your Plans". :DDelete
late as usual after Sunday's rituals. Glad to be here. :-)ReplyDelete
LOL, no worries. Glad you could play along.Delete
This is the season for pruning walnut trees - the hottest time of the year. (I'm a little behind my work.)ReplyDelete
I'll reserve time now to read the work of others here instead of posting. (I'm a little behind in my reading as well.)
I didn't know there was a particular time that was best for walnut pruning. My first guess is that you'd want to do it before the fruits got big enough to thwap you on the head as they fall, but there may be a better reason as to why to do it at this time. :D Good luck with the pruning!Delete
Most hardwoods like oaks are pruned in the winter (walnuts can as well) but the old English practice is to prune black walnut trees in July. There's less sap, less chance of fungus growth and enough time to heal before winter.Delete
I prune 1/3 of the walnuts every 2-3 years and they usually respond the following spring with faster growth.
I'm still learning how all this works and make mistakes along the way. I hope this wasn't too boring.
And this year's nut production is way down at maybe 20% of average, which means less thwapping. ;) This is an unusual year in many ways.
Not at all! I like learning new things. I hope the walnut trees grow like gangbusters in the spring and that nut production picks up (and nobody gets thwapped too hard in the head by them).Delete
Your good wishes are truly welcomed, Rommy. Thank youDelete