'...let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.'
The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura
akiko is a friend of mine who has recently begun doing tea ceremony in a beautiful old machiya in gion, kyoto called en. if ever you travel to kyoto, i hope you can visit akiko and experience the way of tea. you might see it in the grace of akiko's movements as she uses the bamboo implements to make the tea and pour into the beautiful chawan. or it may be in the delicate flowers and scroll arranged in the tokonoma, or in the taste of the traditional japanese sweet that prepares the palette for the bitterness of the matcha... i do hope you find it, it is a beautiful thing.
(we were privileged to help akiko fix up the machiya last time we were in japan - i am not sure if we were a hindrance more than a help, but we did some creative washi on the ceiling work! machiya is one of my enduring obsessions and i hope to write more on machiya soon.)
the book of tea is a classic text on the way of tea.