Loneliness of the tea room

About a year ago we opened Issoan, the tea room built for me by my husband.   It took him two and a half years, but it was worth the wait.  I have been teaching Chado for about 25 years and I was thrilled to have a tea room with a raised floor for a sunken ro, a real tokonoma, shoji windows, fusuma wall and nijiriguchi.  The students and I enjoyed having class there for about six months until the Corona virus hit and we had to close the tea room for events, demonstrations, chakai, workshops and classes.  Now the tea room is empty and silent.

In the mornings I go to sit in the tea room.  The light in the morning is so beautiful. Even though it is empty and silent, it is still peaceful.  I clean the tea room in the morning, hang a scroll and arrange flowers.  Sometimes I put on kimono and heat the water.   Then I make myself a bowl of tea.   Occasionally I will hold my zoom classes in the tea room, but it is not the same as having guests to tea.  Who will eat the sweets?  Who will drink the tea?  Sadly, it is me, by myself to enjoy this stark beauty.

Being alone in the tea room has made me appreciate having guests to make tea for.  As I kansha before drinking  my tea, I am thankful that is possible to drink tea surrounded by such beauty.  Often I find myself “sitting alone in contemplation” about the circumstances we find ourselves in with the Corona virus.  There is loss of sharing with other people, but also through technology, we can also share time with people we would not otherwise be able to see.

Until we can meet again safely, Issoan will be closed.  In the meantime,  I will be here in the silence of one host, no guest.

Permanent link to this article: https://issoantea.com/loneliness-of-the-tea-room/


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    • admin on July 28, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you for your comment. I also look forward to sharing tea with you in the tea room again when it is safe

  1. I look forward to when we can be together in the tea room!

    • admin on July 26, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Dear Jaclyn,
    Thank you for your comment. And I do sincerely and humbly receive your virtual sweet and usucha. Otemae itashimasu! Here’s to the time we can share tea with others again. And when it is safe to go out again, if you are ever in Portland, I hope you can join me at Issoan.

    • Jacyln on July 26, 2020 at 5:23 am

    That makes me sad. I imagine it to be akin to the feeling of being an empty nester. But one day next year everyone will be back to fill the room with glee and laughter. I may not be in your class but I will share a virtual plate of matsukaze and cup of usucha with you from my empty tea room (aka corner in my family room) to you in your empty tea room. Take care.

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