Sunday, 6 June 2010

tea and whirled peas

One thing I like to do is imagine a topic as far from tea as possible and write a blogpost about that. This strategy serves two purposes.

First of all, it means that I never run out of topics. Ever. I've written about football here, and sex, and religion and and and...

The other thing is that because I have a relatively hard time paying attention, this method of choosing things to write about plays to my strengths.

In most of life's endeavours, this inability to concentrate is a problem. In writing, it can be a problem, or one can actually make it an advantage.

For example, if you like a columnist, you go to his/her column regularly and if you miss a week, you go back and look at the archives. If I really love a writer, I go every time I know there'll be something new. I find Cary Tennis at to be intriguing in almost every way. So I read him almost every time he leaves something online. Was devastated when he had surgery relatively recently and I had to find someone else to read religiously.

Or blog. That's roughly when I started seriously considering this teablog lark. And many things he said pushed me to finally stop talking about doing something unique. I used to imagine the songs I'd one day write. Or the short stories. Or certainly one day a novel. Even if, Ignatius J. Reilly-style, my mother had to hand the manuscript over to the publisher.

Here's what I love about his forum:

I can talk about literature. To my heart's content even. Middlemarch one week and Rilke the next. Music is never off-limits. Neither is politics.

Come to think of it, because it's mine...I can pretty much say anything.

So what am I going to do with that platform today?

I'm going to make a proclamation. Are you ready for it?

Everyone reads Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea, and assumes that'd only work for the third world. My contention is: we in the West should be practicing this now. Right now.

Allow me to paraphrase:

We drink a cup of tea, and we're still strangers. As a result of drinking the second cup, we're now friends. By the third cup, we're family.

Sounds like something out of Hair, right? Or now you think I'm some Abbie Hoffman throwback. I assure you I'm not. This isn't some pie-in-the-sky theory.

Think of someone you don't get along with, but you must. Your in-laws. Your co-worker who smells like feet. The neighbour you've never liked. Many people you can just ignore. Easily solved, right?

But now imagine your kid wants to marry their kid. Or your spouse really digs their spouse at the company office party, and they want to hang out. Go out to eat. See a movie together. What'll you do now? If you follow the advice of ol' lahikmajoe, you'll share three cups of tea. Can't hurt, can it?


  1. Many negotiations and friendships have been made over a cup of tea.
    It wouldn't hurt a bit =]

  2. Three Cups of Tea really is a lovely book. Nice meeting you, finally. Your interface is new since I last looked, no? Nice!

  3. Thanks Anne. Am so glad we finally met each other face-to-face.

    Your support here is much appreciated.