Sunday, September 27, 2015

On Tea and Tea Bags in Redmond.

Sitting in SoulFoods, Redmond WA, I expressed sadness at my near-empty cup of tea.  A dear friend next to me exclaimed, "Just ask for more hot water!"  As any English native would in America, I raised a slightly amused, slightly uncomprehending eyebrow. 
"You can't reuse a tea bag," I motioned. 
"What?  You reuse them at home all the time!"
I swayed, bewildered as to where my friend had retrieved such an idea.  The confusion, it turned out, was due fully to the spoon-shaped teaspoon holder that sat beside the kettle atop my kitchen counter.  It was also, not by coincidence, a teaspoon holder used for stowing newly strained tea bags.  My friend had thought the tea bags were placed in there because we, obviously to the visiting eye, reused the bag to make another brew - or rather, a drink more akin to dishwater.  A British insult when you want to impress upon someone the inferiority of their tea making abilities. 
Upon trying to explain why exactly it is that we do put our tea bags in a spoon-shaped bowl rather than into the bin (which, incidentally, is in the cupboard beneath the kettle) I turned up mute.  Why do we do that, I wondered.  We have always collected the used tea bags in some form of dedicated shipping dock - only, it seems, to await the fact that at some point or another, we will judge whether the pile of cold, now slightly mashed pile of brown tea bags, is ready to be thrown away.
I still don't know why we collect our tea bags.  Perhaps this is where the ease of The Great American Coffee enters in.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Early Autumn.

In Seattle, Washington, the coming of September brings an unexpected new light.  Autumn has begun to air its soft arias, lingering restfully within veins.  A cool, crisp breeze is saying its hello to bare arms as coffee cups hit ceramic saucers.  Muscles are relaxing in the new and breathable air, making room for those deep sighs left unspoken during the long, drawn-out heat of summer. 
For those who would relish perpetual heated days, the awakening of Autumn is an accost; it motions to unwanted thoughts as to the ephemera of life, to the reality of change and briefness of time.  For others, the fall into Autumnal ease brings muted release.  A chance for the rise of pocketed desires. 
Through shop windows and tree branches, the sun prints its mottled patterns of shade onto outdoor tables.  Its light brings out traces of dust on window ledges, atop car bonnets and whiskey glasses left unused.  Wood furniture takes on a softer golden hue, beset with scratches previously invisible, and doors stationed slightly ajar beckon in a reviving rush of aaah.
Not yet acute, autumn gives room still for fuller sounds of guitars in chorus, guttural brushes of feet on pavement.  Pausing to listen is a reminder of how each season adjusts the timbre of all surrounding sounds.  Buses passing by outside have less of a roar to their engine and the echoes of voices are muted from street to street - autumn, cushions the air.  It is an interlude that buffers the in-betweens and ceilings-too-high for this time of year.  Storefronts and coffee shops are adjusting their soundtracks.  In Solstice, it’s Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats’ Yellow Moon.  On the third floor, it’s Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blue, Bell.

As a girl, I would often take trips with my grandparents to a place where anything could be imagined. In Clent Hills, vibrant Red Indians called out to grubby pirates, and songs from musicals were sung and left to drape over branches of great-grandfather trees.

My favourite memory of this place, is that of the mossy ground beneath a canopy of green - where blankets of bluebells stitched together. Still a little blonde creature, I thought I had never seen anything so beautiful, and never would again. I felt I could be sure the nymphs and sprites were swooping in and out the patches of sunlight, and could be heard talking with hoopla (about these humans treading down their ground) amongst the woodlice beneath the damp bark of logs and the parasols of bluebells.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Irregularly floating

In England, it is winter now.  The birds are quiet in the morning, the greenhouses insulated.  Neighboring pastures have taken on that hue of blue, known only to December months.   

Somewhere, there is a story of a man.  He no longer wanted to have his personal demons walking one step behind him and so he decided to sell them to a stranger on the street.  On many snow-settled days of the year, hearts have tantrums, weeping to the brain of thoughts it assumed were gone - emotions once stored, dusty in the attic with covered elbows and labelled boxes. 

Rarely, though often enough, the drum of these thoracic demons is relieved with wonderings of the ethereal; of Snow Queens in Fur.  To dream a dream in winter is perchance to wander an icicled forest.  Raucous breath, once exhaled, suspends in the hush of cold, remaining hung on the branches of trees passed.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


'This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.'

Friday, July 09, 2010

The world is quiet here.

I like the quiet.

the quiet found
in libraries or
post office queues, but
the quiet (that, which) dwells on
rooftops - that (which) floats
'neath trees, just
a few footfalls from a path or
settles in too, two,
the cracks of paint on a window sill.

I like the quiet.