Friday, March 30, 2018

A really Good Friday with aged Oolong

The musical mood: Office des ténèbres, Cristobal de Morales, performed by Doulce Mémoire (available on Spotify or as CD).

The tea: Spring 1980 Hung Shui Oolong from Dong Ding.

The kettle: a Japanese tetsubin with silver decoration on the handle

The cups: Dehua porcelain cups. 3 modern and 2 early Qing dynasty.

The teapot: an Yixing Tiliang teapot with carved poem and decoration from the 1930s.

The teaboat: a Sung dynasty porcelain plate with incisions.

The tea presentation plate: a late Qing dynasty celadon porcelain plate.

The waste water recipient: a Japanese copper Jian Shui.

The tea container: a small cylindrical Japanese pewter tea caddy.
With this Chaxi, I remember Jesus who died today for my (and all our) sins. Should I keep this tea ceremony to myself? Is this article going to hurt somebody who doesn't share this faith? Am I showing off with this list of rare, old and expensive tea and wares? Is it wrong to mention my products in an article about Good Friday?
I could say that this is just what I do, that I like to celebrate every day with a themed Chaxi. I try to make the most of each occasion and, for a special day like today, I don't hesitate to use my best tea and wares. I'd further say that I don't do any advertising in the sense that nothing is faked, that every feeling is real.
But today let me just confess that there is vanity in my pursuit of tea and that I am too often mishandling the conflicts of interest my tea business has created. And worst of all, I am often not even conscious of where I do wrong, because of my very big pride. I just know some of my words and actions have displeased many readers and customers over the years. 
It would be painful to list all my failings, my sins, all the things where I come up short. Maybe tea is the one thing that let's me enjoy moments of harmony and unmitigated pleasure! And so, I thank Jesus for forgiving my (and all our) sins on the cross.
And you, dear reader, please forgive the dark mood of this article. Actually, the tea tasted divine. It added life and reality to the account of the events of Good Friday!


EG said...

Hi Stéphane,
You did express a dark mood in your Good Friday blog post, but I’m glad that you didn't keep it to yourself! I don’t believe you can hurt people by sharing your own beliefs... and you’re not pushing your faith on others.

To me, your tea ceremony was not about showing off, but sharing personal intentions in a rather honest and vulnerable way. That you invest meaning into Good Friday by using your most precious tea and tea wares, is certainly a sign of devotion and respect. Even using such old, valuable, (and fragile!) objects is a way to honour the present day, not only a religious holiday.

I guess it’s also natural to ask oneself those difficult questions, practicing Catholic or not, and definitely worthwhile to think about one’s actions and core values. You may feel that you come up short in some ways, (as with any of us), but that does not erase the fact of your finer motivations, it’s just part of being a conflicted, complex, and richly human person. I’m touched that you would share your thoughts with us. ����

EG said...

Those ? question marks at the end of my message, were just emojis!