Nov 23, 2013

Disaster in the tea room

One of my tea students is a high schooler, and she is just great because I get a fresh perspective from her.  There are less filters and inhibitions, so her questions are always what everyone else is thinking, but dare not ask for fear of looking stupid.

She came up with one I had to deal with a couple of months ago that I would like to share with you.

Question:  What happens when there is a disaster in the tea room?

I was thinking and thinking of the last disaster I had in the tea room, and how I handled it.  There was the Seattle earthquake in 2001.  It was a 6.8 magnitude and did considerable damage to buildings and rocked for what seemed like a long time.  But I was at work when it happened, and since we couldn't get cars out of our underground garage, several of my co-workers walked with me to my house, and I made tea for them to calm everyone down.

With all of the other natural and manmade disasters in the world; hurricanes, typhoons, flooding, earthquakes, oil spills, nuclear; it seemed like a reasonable question to me. However, I decided to probe a little for what was on her mind.

Question: What do you mean by disaster?

Question: Well what happens, for example, when someone spills tea on the tatami mats?

Answer: Well then, they would clean it up!