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A Cup of Tea

A cup of tea is not just another cup of drink. After my separation, my first friend led me to this realisation. The caramel-colored liquid is full of life. It asks you questions as you roll it on your tongue. You can get the answer to that question through your throat. It mixes exquisitely with your five senses and appears in your heart as a single abstract artwork.

One sunny afternoon, after returning to work, I was enjoying a daydream for the first time in a long time, which means after my separation. I was showing off a martial art called Capoeira, which I had learned when I was in Hong Kong. It was a scene in which I happened to encounter my old teacher somewhere in the world, and then started to fight together. His name is Preto. When he kicked through the air, the wind rose. His feet flew in the air to the sound of the pizzicato of a primitive instrument called the Bilimbao, and rhythmic momentum of kicks breathed into the rising wind. Preto is a Portuguese word meaning black. His dark skin and the Bilimbao's simple and monotonous melody are reminiscent of the dry land of the large continent. For some reason, my nose always recognizes the aroma of coffee. And my head is filled with it. The comfortable space plays tuneful music with the footsteps of Preto. The heady scent of coffee might have its heart set on finding our first primitive affirmation that has laid dormant for a long time.  Why am I …


私はそこで絶好調の気分にいて、ある朝カポエイラを踊っていた。キックのたびに私の心は歌い、目の前にある心配にもかかわらず心は開放されていた。 伝染性の笑いが大気の香りに波及するやいなれ、私たちはお互いによく共鳴しまあう。 この瞬間は、どんな瞬間よりも格別だった。


そんな時、どこからか こんにちは という挨拶が聞こえた。私は突然現実に引き戻され、飛び上がった。歩道から車道に飛び出した。中肉中背の私と同じ年代のチェコ人男性だった。真っ直ぐな目をしていた。笑った顔には屈託がなかった。日本人ですか?と聞かれた。はいと答えるより早く、私は短刀をもっています。と話し始めた。短刀?いったい何を言っているのだろう。私の意識はまだ、白昼夢を漂っており、コーヒーを飲みたいという衝動を必死に抑えながら、短刀について考えていた。正直、短刀より、彼の左手に握られている大きなキノコのほうが気になった。不思議な国のアリスにでてくるキノコ。それをかじると、体が小さくなるキノコ。ということは、この人は、3月ウサギかもしれない。いや、今は九月だ。九月のチェコ人と呼ぼう。時計ではなく、短刀をもつ9月チェコ人。風変わりな服を着ている。チョッキをきているのだ。


I am on cloud 9 there and dancing Capoeira one morning, where I sang my heart out with each kick and stepped outside myself despite my worries. The sooner infectious laughter ripples through the atmospheric scent, the better we will resonate with one another. It is nowhere near as good as any moment.


At that time, I heard a greeting from somewhere. It was “hello”. I was suddenly pulled back into reality and it dragged me sideways. He was a Czech of the same age as me, who was a normal medium-sized man. But he had straight eyes. His laughing face was carefree. “Are you Japanese?” he asked. Before answering yes, he started saying that he had a dagger. “A dagger?” asked I.  What on earth is he talking about? My consciousness was still in a daydream, and I tried to think about daggers, desperately suppressing the urge to drink a cup of strong coffee. To be honest, I was more interested in the big mushroom in his left hand than the dagger. Why he is carrying it and the shape of this mushroom rang a bell in my head. It’s the mushroom that appears in Alice in Wonderland. Alice was nibbling at the mushroom and then she can be any size according to the relative world. So this person may be a March Hare. A March Czech with a mushroom, not a pocket watch. He is dressed in slightly eccentric clothes. Because he was wearing a waistcoat.


これを読んでくださいと言われた。突然我にかえる。突然話しかけてきたチェコ人男性は自分の携帯に保存してある写真を見せた。見ると、短刀に彫られている名前だった。読んで、意味を伝えた。満足そうな顔をしながら、彼のお茶への情熱について話し始めた。お茶が好きで急須を自分で作っているという。自分の手で急須を作ろことがどれだけ素晴らしいかと。お茶と急須といえば、それらの二つの言葉で私の意識は宙にカポえらの戦いの背景は、アリスの風変わりなお茶会に移った。居心地のいい喫茶店で、カポエラをしながら、香りのオーケストラを楽しむほうが断然いいと思ったが。でも、気違いな帽子屋さんは嫌いではない。そういえば、急須を探していたのを思い出した。Lady Blueという紅茶を買ったのだが、上手く入れる急須がなかった。私は、小さ目の急須で濃く入れるお茶が好きだった。私が日本で手に入れたお気に入りの急須は、あの激動の結婚生活の中で、誤って割ってしまった。私は始終いらいらし、せっかくお茶を入れても、そのお茶やお茶の文化に敬意を払うことすらできなかった。あの時の悲しさと虚しさが突然心を埋め尽くした。


He asked me to read this. He showed the picture on his mobile. Suddenly I came back to reality. It was the name of the blacksmith carved on the dagger in Japanese characters. I read it and tell him the meaning. With a satisfied look, he began to talk about his passion for tea and explained how nice it is to create teapots by hand. Speaking of tea and teapots, those words had taken my mind to fly, to soar. the background of our capoeira fights has moved to a tea party, like Mad Hatter’s tea party although it's definitely better to enjoy a tuneful orchestra while practising capoeira in a cosy coffee shop. Furthermore, I don't hate Mad Hatter. By the way, I’ve just remembered that I was looking for a teapot. I bought a tin of tea called Lady Blue, but I didn't have a teapot to brew it right. I liked the tea that was made strong in a rather small teapot. My favourite teapot I got in Japan was accidentally broken in that turbulent marriage. I was annoyed all the time and couldn't even pay any respect to the tea and tea culture. The sadness and emptiness of that time suddenly filled my heart. 



この日を境に、私の心の中の雲行きが怪しくなった。次の日、突如、私の心は闇に襲われた。会社で何気なく手帳の中にある2か月前の記述を眺めていた。家を追い出された日の前後だ。自分の犯した過ちにはっと気が付いた。初めて、気が付いた。158と6月24日のページに大きく書かれていた。私の手帳なので、もちろん私が書いたのだ。隣のページの6月23日に訪れた家庭内暴力相談所でもらったアドバイスだ。危険を感じたら、警察に電話しなさい。その番号だ。なぜ、私は、2日後の6月26日の夜8時、口論の末、嫌なら出ていけと怒鳴られた時にどうして、この番号に電話しなかったのだろうか? あの時、この番号に電話して、主人を反対に追い出していたら、今、笑っていられたのは、私なのだ。愕然とした。今日は、9月7日だ。2ヶ月以上前に犯した大きな過ちに今気がつく。そんなことがあるのだろうか?


"I can't blame you for a moment. If it's nothing, it's easier than zero," said a Mad Hatter’s line from Alice in Wonderland in my head. Without the teapot, I wouldn't be able to do more. Without a teapot, you can't pay any respect to tea. If you don't drink something, you can't drink more. My intuition caught me in this mystery-solving word. Suddenly I came back to reality. I asked him to sell me one of his teapots. He told me that he would show me his work, so we exchanged mobile numbers. He lived in the building next door.


The next day, suddenly my heart was struck by darkness. In my office, I casually looked at the description in my diary, from two months ago. Before and after the day I was kicked out of my flat after a huge argument with my husband. I suddenly realized the mistake I made. For the first time, I’ve noticed that. It was written heavily on June 24th. It was 158 , which is the number of emergency calls to police.  It's my diary, so of course I wrote it. This is the advice I got from the Domestic Violence Counseling Center that I visited on June 23rd on the previous page. If you feel danger, call the police. That is the number. Why didn't I call this number on June 26th at 8pm, after a quarrel when I was yelled at to “Leave here if you don't like it”? At that time, if I had called this number and kicked out my husband in the opposite direction, now I would be laughing. I was stunned. Today is September 7th. I now realize the big mistake I made more than two months ago. Have you ever heard of such a thing?











After that, I was struck by a horror I had never felt before. My legs trembled and I couldn't breathe. My heart was filled with darkness. I thought I would lose. I was sitting at my office desk, but I didn't know where I was. It seemed that the lifeline that was barely connected was suddenly thrown high in the sky like a lost balloon. I had to breathe. Let's go out. When I went outside, my boss was sitting in the smoking area, holding his head. Our eyes met. I said in a small voice, “I made a big mistake. I don't know if I can get it back. I may be stripped of the shirt off my back and live on the street”. My boss, a good boss, immediately, thought it was about my divorce. He kept his mouth shut and gave me a cigarette with a lighter. I haven't smoked since I was informed that my mother had been taken to the hospital and diagnosed with ALS two years ago. I lit the cigarette and inhaled slowly, like during yoga practice.

After that, I smoked 3 boxes in 3 days. Moreover, I went to the petrol station to buy another box at 12:00 a.m. I fell to the bottom. I saw my GP and got a tranquillizer. I thought my life was over. I was alone in this world. Additionally, I was in the Czech Republic. And I'm not young anymore. I felt like I understood the feelings of a war orphan, but there is no war in front of me. I was not to become merely one more orphan to live in a foreign country. I jumped on my own and failed to land. Now I am an orphan in the middle of nowhere in Europe.


I lit the last cigarette in the third box. It was September 10th, 12:30. I had to take a shower. Because my whole body smelled of cigarettes and there was an appointment at 13:00. I had promised to have a cup of tea with my new friend who lives next door. He said he would show me teapots. I didn't want to go at all. I thought I'd use an excuse, such as illness.  At that time, suddenly a thought came across. Why don’t you try to embark on a new life? A woman rejects a new possibility that spoils womanhood. I wondered what the divorce was. It was just a reset button for my life. I've been thinking about my family for 12 years of my marriage. I didn't call the the police at that time because I still loved my husband. I didn't want to show our stupid quarrel to our daughter, so we quarrelled outside. I didn't call the police because I loved my family. It's my choice. I just have to be confident about it. Last night, I had a dream of the moment I jumped off the building. It's just a matter of thinking that you were dead at that time and living your life from scratch. Don't rush. I must do something to give me a place for the flow of energies to propel us forward on my life journey again.


I took a shower and went to the meeting place, at the cool fountain in the square. 

I don't remember much about what I talked to him about. I had smoked three packs of cigarettes and lacked sleep after spending three days feeling like a zombie with depression. Moreover, I spoke Czech. I remember only that he was learning Chinese, loving Chinese tea, and went to China to buy it. I gave an inch and thought he was a strange person.






We sat in front of a pond in the park under a big tree. The lotus flowers were in bloom. I flew to my daydreaming, I was remembering the Royal Botanical Gardens in Munich during my summer vacation. Beautiful lotus flowers were blooming there as well in the heat of the shining sun. Oh, I thought for a moment if I could go back to that place, yes I am there in my daydream. At that time I didn't even realize the mistake I made. Contrary to imagining fear, I literally enjoyed looking at the lotus flowers triumphantly. At that time my heart couldn't even experience such horror. Suddenly I noticed a Chinese tea set in front of me. A mysterious man was making tea with a familiar hand. He holds a delicate handle of a reddish-brown teapot which has a beautiful streamline. Beautiful things have universality and permanence. These are eye-catching, such a beautiful dog Inca. How many other times have I been fascinated by her streamlined body lines running at full speed? How many other times beautiful streamlines will fascinate me if I start a new life? 


A caramel-coloured liquid was poured from the beautiful thin spout of the teapot. It’s the colour of amber. There is romance in the amber colour. The hidden passion beneath its burnish is there and life force energy flows beneath its transparent brown colour. I smelled the scent. In an instant, I was thrown into the air again and my imagination flew and soared. I experienced this scent somewhere before. My consciousness has already risen to a higher level. My habit of exploring something has awakened. I thought it was dead, but it would have been to subside, therefore, now I'm exploring something again. I carefully pour that hidden passion into my mouth. The liquid of that passion revealed its presence on my tongue and slowly stretched its limbs. Its presence manifested my body and unified my five senses. I looked up. The caramel-coloured liquid made it so. Already I was looking down at myself from a fairly high place. Right next to it, the dense foliage of light green colour was swaying in the wind. The taste of tea and my vision were integrated. The wind touched my cheeks. The temperature of the wind and the taste of tea was integrated. The glare of the sun and the taste of tea were integrated. My imagination at the Botanical Gardens in Munich and the taste of tea combined. And finally, I saw the future with my creativity that I harness resourcefully to live during challenging times. It was a piece of abstract art. And it integrated with the taste of tea.


私の心の中に、緑の蔦でできた門が現れた。イギリスの貴族の庭にあるような迷路の一部のような通り道。ミュンヘンの植物園を歩いていると、ふと、この門が私を見たように感じた。 「こんにちは、レディ」黄緑色のアーチの先にある光が手招きしました。 その瞬間から、そこはミュンヘンで私が最も気に入った場所。その門をくぐり抜けた。心が通い合う人と腕を組んでいた。そよ風に背中を押されながら。そこにはもう闇は存在していなかった。キャラメル色の液体と一緒に、飲み込んだんだ。子供の時のオレンジジュースで母の闇を飲み込んだように。今、キャラメル色の液体に含まれるカフェインで、休眠していた私の意識ははっきりと目覚め、活力を生み出す。私は、今自分で人生のリセットボタンを押した。目の前に出されたもういっぱいの水仙の烏龍茶を一気に飲み干す。残像として残っていた最後の幻想をも飲み込む。そのカフェインは、私の自尊心をも目覚めさせた。この瞬間、全ての条件が揃ったのだ。


A gate made of green ivy appeared in my heart. A path like part of a maze in an English aristocratic garden. Passing through the botanical gardens in Munich, this gate looked my way. "Good afternoon, Lady," the light through its yellow-green arch beckoned. It became my favourite place in Munich. I went through the gate. I was crossing my arms with someone my heart could fully communicate with. While being pushed by the breeze. There was no darkness there anymore. I swallowed it with a caramel-coloured liquid. Like swallowing my mother's darkness with orange juice as a child. Now, with the caffeine contained in the amber liquid, my consciousness is clearly awakened, and the awakened consciousness creates vitality. I will now press the reset button of my life by myself. I drank another cup of tea served in front of me at once. I swallowed the last illusion that remained as an afterimage. The caffeine also awakened my real self-esteem which has laid dormant, but when the conditions are met, it will arise. Now, at this moment the conditions were met.

Inspired by Capoeira teacher Preto and the book of Alice in Wonderland

Edited by Ross McLelland

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