Tuesday, 22 June 2010

sleepwalking through life

Have decided to try a different approach. This blog is fine if I just want to entertain myself and the three or four of you who regularly come and tell me you enjoy it.

I want people coming here in droves. Maybe someone writing a teablog should be happy with a handful of loyal readers, but I'm not. I'll be happy when my handful of daily readers is multiplied by a few thousand. Unrealistic for such a niche topic? Whatever. I disagree. What's wrong is that the people who aren't coming here still think this is a blog about tea.

It's not.

Only in theory is this about tea. To be really blunt, it's not about tea at all. Tea's the gateway. Tea's the thing that some of you are obsessed about. You know I'm obsessed about tea, so periodically you wonder, 'Hm...I wonder what nonsense lahikmajoe has burped out today.'

You're in for a treat if you chose today to happen by. I don't think you've yet realised what a treat this is about to be.

My goal isn't only to attract newcomers to tea. That's only part of the point, but not the most important part. And it's not to write about my impressions of some rare Oolong that you'll neither find nor ever actually drink. That still seems like the biggest waste of energy of many teablogs I know.

What I really want to do here is not only talk about tea, but talk about taste. Developing taste. When you drink more good tea, your perception of all tea changes. It's true if you eat better chocolate or hear an excellent orchestra.

Once you've heard the Concertgebouw with Mengelberg, it's hard to go back to Daffy Duck and the Podunk Philharmonic. Eating top-shelf chocolate is only going to ruin you for common bars. But see, tea only opens a door. If you start drinking decent tea, you might actually upgrade your biscuits/cookies. You might splurge and try a piece of cake to have with your tea.

My schtick isn't just tea. It's sensuality.

I played music with a lovely violinist called Uschi when I went to school in Cincinnati. She and I were as close as two can get without being intimate. We drank Rolling Rock, played foosball, and talked in her improving English about everything from music to politics to astronomy. One day, she turned to me and told me that I was a 'Lebenskünstler'. A what? Lebenskünstler.

What in the world is that? She made it sound so good. 'You really enjoy every moment of life to the fullest. You don't care what society thinks of you and you do what you like.' Lebenskünstler translates as Life Artist.

I liked all of that, although I wasn't sure if she knew me well enough to make these assessments. Maybe she knew me that well. Whatever. I took it as a complement.

Then I moved to Germany, learned the language much better, and found out that Lebenskünstler isn't nearly the positive term I'd thought it was. Maybe for Uschi it was a good thing, but to the typical German, this is not something to aspire to be. A life artist means you can't really do much else than stumble around being a drag on society. A Lebenskünstler can't be bothered to show up on time. Or pay his bills. Or send his mother a birthday card.

He's too busy creating art at every available opportunity. I'm going to keep talking about tea as if I was hellbent for leather. Its not hard to do. I'm told I have an addictive problem with tea. My answer? So.

But I'm also going to talk about enjoying the finer things. There are some really excellent blogs out there with better photography and beautiful graphics that deal with slow food, chocolate, and other things one enjoys sensually. My blog isn't such a site. Doubt it'll be like those any time soon.

I want to grab your imagination with my writing. To pull you into the mire and slather the muddy, dirty, stinky part all over you. It's really our only hope. You might resist at first, but when you finally recognise what the benefits are, theres no way you can go back to the life you were sleepwalking through before. None.


  1. Wow! I will just say one thing: things which can be enjoyed sensually do not have to be tangible. Intangible things like good conversation, the joy of realising that someone else actually understands what you are on about and hanging on to a bit of mystery.

  2. Hi Lahikmajoe! I think that counter you mentioned several posts ago is wrong. I'd bet that your blog easily gets 40 to 50 views a week and that your readership is slowly growing with each post. Those of us who read your blog regularly enjoy it not as a "tea blog per se"... but as the personal blog of our "tea buddy!"

    If you keep posting these short whimsical rambling stories about your various tea exploits and other random goofy stuff, then I'll definitely keep reading!

    You are one of my "online tea buddies!" and in this day and age, as you already well know, that is a relationship that many people think is important to cultivate!

  3. You have no idea what I can do when I am motivated :D
    But you can relax, when I see one of your posts, I do wonder what I will read.