Tea Kettle Philosophy — Keeping Interest Alive

Taylors of Harrogate Loose Leaf Teas
Taylors of Harrogate Loose Leaf Teas

The kettle has boiled, and the water is now in the teapot, busily dancing with those tea leaves to create a wondrous potion for a lovely tea time. The cakes and cups and saucers are laid out and all is in readiness for a relaxing tea time. A moment or two is available now for a good ponder.

In our busy lives, with new devices, new apps for those devices, new movies, new novels, and new news popping up by the day, hour, minute, and even second, how do you stay interested in something long term? Anyone who pursues art will be especially aware of this issue. Large paintings, long musical compositions, making movies, creating sculpture, etc., take time — and interest that doesn’t wane over that period of time, or, if it does wane, is able to bounce back.

Part of the problem I have with doing large art pieces is staying interested in them long enough to complete them, since so much of the appeal of painting to me is in the sheer joy of conceiving the idea for the piece. Writing symphonies is sort of like that. Writing a piece that takes about an hour to perform can take months or years to write. Commissioned art works are sometimes the worst in this regard, that is, being able to stay interested in them until they are completed, since the concept for the piece often is dictated by the person commissioning the work. One of the best examples in art history is the Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings, commissioned by Pope Julius III of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, who considered himself primarily a sculptor, not a painter. Their famous struggle was aptly portrayed in The Agony and the Ecstasy with Rex Harrison as the Pope and Charlton Heston as Michelangelo. Their most famous scene is when the Pope shows up while Michelangelo is working in the chapel to check on the work. Pope: “When will it be finished?” Michelangelo: “When I am done.” The artist finally got so sick of the project that he destroyed what he’d painted at that point and fled the Pope’s wrath. So much for keeping interest alive.

Yet, there are tea veterans out there who have been literally up to their waistlines in tea (out in the tea gardens, that is) for decades and still seem as fascinated by the subject as ever. How do they do it?

For one thing, they keep it fresh. They explore new aspects of tea, stay in touch with groups that help people new to tea get started on the road to informed tea drinking (nothing can keep a subject fresher and more interesting in your mind than passing it on to others), write a book, and otherwise engage in activities related to tea such as attending and even speaking at tea expos and local gatherings.

As for hubby and me, we have a long, long way to go before our interest in tea will even hint at waning. New teas arrive daily for us to try. And the ideas for new tea articles seem to come faster and faster, based in part on our experiences with those new teas.

Keep your interest in tea alive by attending a tea tasting at a local tea shop or tea room, reading a new tea book (there are scores of them on the market these days), or exploring new tea vendors and their offerings. Enjoy!

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