I was lost. Completely stranded. My tethers mowed by a blind hand. It was Thursday night. I was supposed to write an absurd fable. I sat in front of the computer and nothing came out. Nothing at all. My mind ran on blank slippery surface and fell on its bum, helpless and hurt.
I couldn’t create.
For me, writerly type, the absence of story is a torture, a source of anxiety. Like waking up alone in the middle of the night in a bed that should be warmed by a lover, when creativity is gone, I ache for what is missing. I listen carefully, hoping for a hint for where it has gone. Maybe it is just answering a midnight bathroom call. And when no water is running, I creep out of bed, telling myself that the panic is premature and that creativity’s just around the corner. I’ll feel silly in an instant. And when it isn’t there, it’s like it kidnapped my heart and abandoned me.
Like any person does when a lover leaves, I called a friend and went out for dinner. I talked about the good old days, about the fond memories creativity had given me, and buried my sadness in laughter. Leaf had a gift for me: seven teas she knew she wouldn’t drink. Seven wonders for me to discover.
Hurrying home at the end of the evening, I put a kettle on the oven. Guided by my nose, I browsed through me new selection looking for the doorway over the rainbow. Somewhere in the bags lay my creativity. Seven potential adventures in a cup waited to bloom but I had to pick the one capable of filling my emptiness.
After much sniffing and pondering, the kettle pressed my choice with its strident wail. Since my mind was so blank, a nameless tea in a nondescript plastic bag seemed appropriate. I dropped a handful of leaves in the teapot and poured the hot water. One whiff and I knew I was right. I sat at my desk my precious teapot beside me and waited for the infusion to run its course. Tendrils of creation already undulated on the edge of my consciousness, waiting to be lured all the way to my fingers.
I poured a cup and sipped. Perfect. Just perfect. Like the nameless song that sparks a book, like the crazy random happenstance that fertilizes a scene, that sip lit fireworks in my brain. I smelled the wind and felt the soft caresses of the leaves as if I was standing in the tea field. Its light greenery was supported by an almost nutty aroma. Carried by it, I floated over the roasting grains of rice.
I drank a cup as I wrote this post and dwelled in its caress. I’m sure Leaf will be happy to provide the name of this tea when she reads this but until then, it shall be my creativi-tea.
I wrapped up this post with my eyes half-closed, lost somewhere in a tender dream, in the renewed embrace of a lover coming home.
Then, I poured another cup.
And I started writing.