Friday, 16 July 2010

tea drinking and resolve

As he worked his way throught the pot of tea, Mortenson told Abdul the story of his failure on K2, his wanderings on the glacier, and the way the people of Korphe had cared for the stranger who wandered into their village.

from Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea (p. 58)

As I'm going through this book again, I've decided to ponder some of the things he brings up, and leave my thoughts here. I plan to at least start off talking about tea, but there's no telling where these thoughts might take me. That's part of my attraction to tea. You could certainly make a case for the spirited conversation one might have drinking whiskey or the heightened alertness that coffee might create.

But tea is both calming and enlightening. Whether drinking it alone or sharing it with others, something exquisite often happens in the process of draining a pot.

Several paragraphs later, after Abdul has resolved to help Mortenson get the best deal possible on the materials for the school he's going to build, the story continues:

He swept aside the doubts about his ability to build the school that had nagged at himfor the last year, as Abdul had briskly cleared the tea try. Tomorrow it was time to begin.

Something else I've noticed about tea drinking and resolve. If I'm debating with myself about doing something and first sit quietly with a bit of tea, I normally find at least the beginnings of an answer. I try to make a point of ignoring my very first impulse. Not always, but often it's my worst thought. While the tea cools and I sip it slowly, alternatives that I hadn't thought of start to materialise.

My friend Patsy used to always say, 'If you think there're only two answers to a problem, you're not looking at it clearly enough.' Her point was that upon further reflection, there's always another way to look at a situation.

That's it for tonight. Although it's not a long post, there's plenty here. Am drinking a really simple Darjeeling Green that I got at a shop in Hamburg back in April. It's so simple it didn't even have a specific name. Nothing more than Darjeeling Green Tea. I was intrigued because I'd never had a green tea from Darjeeling. Third infusion and it's still going strong.

Off to ponder.


  1. Obviously there are more than one way to solve any problem and just letting your mind embrace the whole problem is a good way of finding different ways.
    This is where tea "helps" you sinc your focus is no longer on the proble mbut on tea, you free your mind and "unleash" its potential.
    However, having more than one solution to a problem is also the first step on the road towards indecision and not acting.

  2. Interesting thoughts Ice're right sometimes too much thinking, or too many options are not a good thing.

    Either way, indeed Lahikmajoe, a cup of tea is always good!

    Green Darjeeling tea? Never heard of it. Amazing. What do you think of it, compared to other green teas?

  3. It doesn't compare well with the better Chinese/Japanese greens, but it's not a bad tea. Am shocked at how many infusions I'm able to get out of it. It's nearly like and Oolong in that regard.