Friday, March 14, 2008

About This Blog

The impetus for this blog was one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a tea ceremony practitioner: The sudden destruction of the tearoom where I’d been practicing for the past thirteen years.

On the surface, a tearoom is a small, nondescript space. There are tatami mats on the floor (the mats covered in woven grass that the Japanese traditionally use for flooring), the walls are painted in a subdued color, the ceiling covered with wood tiles, the windows covered with paper shoji screens. There’s an alcove in the corner where we hang a scroll and set out a simple flower arrangement. When it’s time for tea, there’s an iron brazier on the floor (or, in the wintertime, set into a sunken hearth).

But, like many places in our lives, a tearoom is more than the sum of its parts. What happens there, the kinds of feelings that a tea ceremony can evoke – that’s harder to explain. The goal of this blog is not just to tell you about tea ceremony, but to talk about what it’s like to be a tea person (chajin in Japanese). Hopefully, by reading this you’ll get an idea of what it’s like, and maybe even be inspired to seek out tea ceremony for yourself.

I’m your host, Morgan Beard, but I’m only one of a group of tea teachers and students in this area. I hope that I’ll be able to rope some of my fellow tea people into posting on this blog, too, so that you can hear their stories as well as mine. In the meantime, read and enjoy!