This morning’s cuppa is a single estate Assam tea from the Rembeng estate. The Assam tea growing district is located in northeastern India. Now that we are past our little September heat wave and the leaves are starting to turn color, this full-bodied black tea is perfect for a bright, cool early fall morning. The tea liquor is a dark reddish brown and the flavor is hearty with a bright astringency. I like to smooth out that astringency with a dash of milk. The leaf is of the CTC variety. CTC means crush, tear, curl and refers to a mechanized processing of the leaf that results in a consistent, granular structure. It brews up fairly quick, 2-3 minutes in boiling water, so it’s also a good choice for those mornings when you don’t have a lot of time. It’s also strong enough for the addition of sweetener, if that’s your taste.
The leaf reminds me of dark grapenuts. Mmmmm, time for another cup!
Just like food and water hydrate and nourish our bodies, there are certain things we can do to nourish our souls. Most are special only to us but some things are common to everyone. I call them “Well Fillers”. Just like we fill our car’s tank with gas and then use the fuel and empty the tank by driving the car, we go through a similar process in our daily lives. Filling and emptying our life energy. I’ve come up with a list of what fills my well.
2. Listening to an audio book while I drive
3. Sleeping in
4. Making and drinking tea
5. Going for a walk in the woods or on the beach
6. Reading or watching a good story
8. Taking photos
9. Sunday pancake brunch
10. Visiting an art or bead store
My list is a lot longer but you understand. What fills your well?
Lately, as summer stands aside for autumn to fully enter our lives, I have been contemplating the cycles and rhythms of life. The ebb and flow of the tides. The growth, harvest and dormancy of the seasons. The waxing and waning of the moon. The life cycle of a butterfly as its cocooning transforms it from a fuzzy caterpillar to a glorious winged soulbird. Life is constantly changing within its cycles of birth, death and rebirth.
This led me to think about the cycles of my own life, especially my creativity. Sometimes I feel bursting full of energy and ideas and my hands can barely keep up with my imagination. This is the “Doing” part of my cycle. At other times I feel empty and don’t want to do anything at all. It is during those times that I feel the need to fill up my emptiness. But first it is important that I sit with the emptiness for awhile before I start filling. This is the “Being” part of my cycle.
As a true Capricorn, I feel the most comfortable when I have a concrete goal and am working (Doing) hard towards that goal, whatever it may be. It is the times when my psyche starts sending me signals that it is time to enter the “Being” part of the cycle that I struggle with the most. Perhaps it is the part of me that thinks that I am not worthy unless I am being productive that finds it challenging to just “Be”. But isn’t the butterfly growing and transforming within her cocoon, her “Being” time? Isn’t the moon still there even though we can’t see it? The tide recedes but look what treasures it brings in.
So, I am sitting with these thoughts and am starting to understand that “Being” is just as important as “Doing. It is part of the cycle of our lives, yours and mine.
What do you think?
The start of September. Meet the Goddess of the Harvest. She has a sweetly content look on her face because the seeds planted in the springtime are yielding a rich, abundant harvest.
I marbled some gold and black polymer clay in my pasta machine for her body. Her bone face cabochon was purchased years ago at the Whole Bead show in Providence and lovingly added to my stash to await the day it would be part of a creation. The variegated bead hank, purchased on my recent trip to Michigan, was originally intended for a bead crochet project but when I placed it next to the page, I thought it would make simply awesome flowing hair. Muted but rich shades of turquoise, green, brown and cream beads – the photo doesn’t do it justice. I have a whole evening free for beading!
A little behind schedule but my August journal page is finally done! This one was a lot more challenging than the first two. They seemed to flow easily whereas I struggled with this page a lot. Maybe because I experienced some challenging health issues for most of the month. That said, I just forged on whenever I hit a difficult patch and didn’t rip anything out.
It is a hodgepodge of beading with a lot going on where my first 2 pages seem more cohesive. Maybe it was because I used tiles created by other artists and each tile had an influence on the beading around it. Anyway, I’m calling this piece “Window to your Imagination”. By using the polymer clay tiles I received at Klay Karma, I arranged them into a window pattern and then embellished that window with my beadwork. A lot of leaves and flowers adorn the window, symbolizing the lushness and fertility of imagination. As August is a month of harvest, this piece also represents the manifestation (harvest) of the ideas (seeds) planted in your imagination. I’ve just started my September page and will post a photo very soon!