As ancient Buddhists drank tea
to prevent drowsiness during epic
mediations, we drink of each other’s
pain and joy to prevent our souls
from going back to sleep.
In the second chapter of Lu Yu’s
Cha Ching, the holy scripture of tea,
he remarks that the most potent leaves
have creases that have held the sun
which when softened release
an aroma from the Beginning.
This is what a life ushered into
acceptance looks like: crease,
soften, and in time we unfold
with an ease beyond our making.
The tea hut by design is too
small to enter standing, and too
narrow to bring anything with you.
Like the threshold to wisdom
after a lifetime of trouble.
A Question to Walk With: Describe a time when life narrowed your passage to tomorrow. What did you need to put down in order to arrive as you are?
This excerpt is from my book of poems in progress, The Tone in the Center of the Bell.