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.
July 23rd, 2010 at 7:14 am
Yay! Leaf, I need to know what the name of that tea is! I’m so glad that it worked for you Ahiela! I was getting really worried at the start of your post. You never seem to loose your muse!
July 23rd, 2010 at 7:29 am
It scarcely ever happens which is why it’s all the more dire when it does!
July 23rd, 2010 at 8:58 am
The name of it is Genmaicha ^^ I wrote its story just below. Every tea has its story, but this one is a special one.
July 23rd, 2010 at 8:59 am
I shall remember that! 😉
July 23rd, 2010 at 8:11 am
Whenever I get abandoned by creativity, I go and cycle, allowing my mind to drift far and wide. If it happens in the middle of the night, I give up and play ps3 games, then sit down for 15 minutes and write out my adventures just to tell myself that I can still write. 🙂
Good post Aheila!
July 23rd, 2010 at 8:34 am
Yeah I have a couple of other tricks as well: going out for a run, cooking, etc. However, I didn’t want to do anything yesterday. I was just blank. *laughs*
July 23rd, 2010 at 8:25 am
Smiling. That sounds like moments in my writing life. It’s nice to know there are others plagued by the same madness.
July 23rd, 2010 at 8:35 am
I guess it happens to all of us! *laughs* I’ve been sprinting to finish my manuscript for the end of the month and I guess yesterday I needed a break. Now my fingers are itching to get back to my story. 8 hours of work and I’ll be there… 😉
July 23rd, 2010 at 8:52 am
You didn’t knew it when you brew it last night, but this tea was the best one you could choose. It has a special story attached to it.
The first time I tasted it, it was when a dear friend of mine gave me some tea bags sample for christmas last year. I was just begining to outline some butterfly’s wing at that time and I had some trouble to accept that the mere 500 words drabble I was aiming for at first was slowly unfurling itself to become what is now a 31 000 words still unfinished story.
That friend had chosen this special tea a long time ago to be a creativity filler when she was unable to write. She gave me some, knowing I was fighting with my story and hoping it would have the same effect on me.
And it had. It touched me to the bones, gave me the exact amount of inspiration and butt kicking I needed at that time (and still does when I need it). And it was also the one tea because of which I began my travel on the way of tea.
Creativity filling and mind travelling. That is where lies the power of Genmaicha. 😉
July 23rd, 2010 at 9:05 am
It most definitely works! And you gave me so much of it, I’ll most likely be writing a whole lot in the coming months. *laughs*
Genmaicha, I shall remember your name!
FYI, I’m trying the smoked one this morning. This one doesn’t have a name either but it is perfect for my slow morning at work. I’m navigating its campfire waters with a crooked smile. 😉
July 23rd, 2010 at 9:20 am
The smoked one… was that a tea I gave you? The only one I can think of is lapsang souchong, but there wasn’t any in the bags I gave you yesterday.
July 23rd, 2010 at 9:32 am
Roasted might be the term. I can’t remember. The one in the plastic container with the dark blue lid. *laughs*
July 23rd, 2010 at 9:35 am
Aaaaaah yes!! It’s Hojicha ^^ Sorry, I forgot about that one ^^
July 23rd, 2010 at 9:36 am
So it’s considered roasted or smoked? *laughs*
July 23rd, 2010 at 9:43 am
It’s a roasted green japanese tea ^^
Roasted is cooked, while smoked is dried on top of a cedar and acacia tree fire ^^ Russian Caravan is an example of smoked blend, in case you have troubles figuring the difference. The smokey taste is a lot more present than in the roasted one, where the aromas are mellow and sometimes give a kind of honeyed aftertaste.
July 23rd, 2010 at 10:12 am
Oh! Making the difference probably wouldn’t be a problem if I had tasted both. I just didn’t remember in which category you told me this tea fell! *laughs* But thanks for the explanation!
July 23rd, 2010 at 9:48 am
Lovely images. Makes me want to go outside, soak up some cool breezes, and write. If only there were cool breezes in the southern U.S. right now. 😉
July 23rd, 2010 at 10:15 am
*laughs* Well, we have plenty of cold breeze here in Quebec city. We also have a nice sunshine so it really calls for a trip outside. Too bad I’m lost in the middle of the office where no natural light dares venture. 😉
July 23rd, 2010 at 10:04 am
creativi-tea…that’s my new cup of tea…every written word in this post led up to that one inspired thought…makes a great brand name for those creatives living in the void…
July 23rd, 2010 at 10:16 am
Hmm… maybe I should get into the tea business! *laughs*