Apr 8, 2010

After a tea gathering

"After host and guest have expressed their feelings of regret and after the final farewells have been said, the guests depart through the roji (garden).  They do not call out in loud voices, but turn silently for one last look.   The host, moved, watches them until they are gone from sight.  It would not do for him to rush about closing the naka-kuguri, the sarudo, and the other doors, for this would make the day's entertainment meaningless.  Even though it is not possible to see the guests returning to their homes, the host should not put things in order quickly.  Rather, he should return quietly to the setting of the tea gathering and, crawling through the nijiguchi, seat himself before the hearth.  Wishing to speak longer with his guests, he must wonder how far they have gotten on their ways home.  This "one time, one meeting" has come to an end, and the host reflects upon the fact that it can never be repeated.  The highest point of a tea meeting is, in fact, to have a cup of tea alone at this time.  All is quiet, and the host can talk to no one but the kettle.  This is a state in which nothing else exists, a state that cannot be known unless one has attained it oneself."
~ from Chanoyu Ichie Shu by Ii Naosuke


  1. So beautiful, and exactly how I feel after a party! In fact, I enjoy slowly doing the dishes and thinking of the happy times. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Steph, as Ii Naosuke said, it is the highest point of the tea gathering. It is always good to take time for reflection, but even more so at the end of a tea gathering which may have been in the planning for months, weeks and days.