July 9, 1997

While brushing my teeth this morning, I was looking out the huge picture window that we just put in, and the morning was grey, rainy... until, suddenly, the sun broke from the clouds and shone. It turned the wet mass of trees into glowing maples, firs, and alder, the spring green of them shining that impossibly rich green in the light. I just stopped breathing for a bit and just looked as the wind tossed the brilliant living sea of leaves and branches. It was so gorgeous.

Yeah... it's nice having a ravine at the back of the house to allow for a window that big.

Spent most of last night reading Bujold novels, a holdover of my WesterCon catalyzation. Interesting books, in that most of the protagonists are on the edge of 'acceptability' in their society, labelled misfits who manage to do better and more than the establishment or those who have been labelled as 'acceptable'. It's a theme that fits so well within how and what I've been feeling and thinking that devouring the books two and a bit at a time has been a real joy.

Life's just chaotic right now, and it hurts, sometimes, to think of all the things I have to do. Going to Oakland/Mountain View to visit with the Horde and get my hair turned blue. Work is just crazy. I was so angry at the pile up at work that at one time I chopped out the following on a MUSH:
Liralen *wishes* *she* *could* *run* *out* *of* *things* *to* *do* *at* *work*.
Angry me.

I have so much tension. Woke up this morning at 7, no problem, coiled up tight with all the things I had to do today. Barnes' tai chi class showed me, decisively, that I needed a way to relax. After the small first session, I sat and stretched and there were crackles that could be heard across the room.

Keenest thing, too, is that Bob Hamilton, a co-worker of mine, brought in some Taiwanese oolong from Taiwan's mountain country. I get to go home, bring lots of Yixing ware to work and see what will work for him and I to taste the tea.

Well, it was as utterly astonishing as I'd hoped. A green oolong with the signature fragrance of a beautifully cultivated Taiwanese tea, the leaves so big that two teaspoons of leaves nearly filled the 6oz pot, and a lingering fruity after taste with the lovely balance of tannin to the sweetness. <happy sigh>. There's something really right about being able to go home at lunch time and spend a half an hour drinking tea with someone that appreciates it; and always more fun to share. Instead of bringing the Yixing ware to work, we just did it at home. Yum.

Small delights.

And a good relaxant. It was really funny walking through the being rebuilt kitchen, seeing that the stove was completely unhooked again, so we had to nuke the water in the microwaves. I found a tray to pour on and do the water work for overfilling the pot, and poured for three, the third cup going into a travel mug, all four pourings intermixing for a very nice complex cup of the oolong. The various stages of the oolong were classic, the first completely fragrent, the second deep with flavor including the aftertaste astringency which was wicked sharp, the third mellowing both, and the fourth as light as a breath. Nice to concentrate and relax at something. Perhaps all I really need for meditation is the making and enjoyment of tea.

Another Steve Barnes observation that I really enjoyed was his observation that life can be turned into a verb rather than a noun. That to live and take ones life with both hands is an action, not just a state of being. To do rather than to be. To do or not to do is the only true choice. To do nothing but be has no purpose or reason or goal or satisfaction. Though it's good, sometimes, to simply be and let the rest of the frantic activity flow by.

Reminds me of something Mike Wasson once spoke of... that one Greek philosopher's notion of virtue had to do with balancing... to have enough of something rather than too much or too little. That there is an appropriate amount of anger to have, too little and you cannot defend, too much and it becomes and all consuming rage. The trick is in the balance.

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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