Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Comfort


Ever since I was first laid low with the flu two weeks ago, I've been wrestling with a vexing problem: I lose my voice first thing every morning and again just before tuck-in, and I end up sounding like a dying amphibian when I try to speak.

It's hugely amusing to our kids but somewhat distressing to me. Normally, it wouldn't be a big deal. But when I need to speak that day - or worse, speak on the radio - it kinds freaks me out that I sound like Phyllis Diller after she's stuffed 125 cigarettes simultaneously into her mouth before lighting them en masse.

This past Friday, I awoke with the now-traditional non-voice. Problem was I had an interview scheduled for that morning. I nursed a giant mug of tea until the moment my cell phone rang, and ended up sounding more or less human when I spoke to the reporter.

Which reminded me how much comfort I've been deriving from tea since I first got sick last month. I've been spending a lot of time enjoying the genteel benefits of boiling water and letting it steep in a lovely old pot on the kitchen table. Just watching the wisps of steam is often enough to set everything right with the world no matter how busy life might be at that moment. And if I have to leave the house, the warmth of a mug through my fingers helps lower my blood pressure as well.

This image takes me right there, even if I'm nowhere near a kettle. I never thought condensation and color could be so fascinating.

Your turn: Tea is all about ritual. What other rituals do you engage in to slow the rest of the planet down? Posted by Picasa

24 comments:

Lisa said...

tea... with cream... tv off... feet on the ottoman, a quilt, and a book. That will do it for me every time.

Great picture!

Danb said...

Carmi!

I too enjoy the tea... just recently got into it.. but I enjoy it as well. Another thing I do to slow down the world, if just for a bit, is to sit in our glider (rocking chair). Ya see recently we've been preparing the house for the little one (only one month away) and we aquired a glider. I simply drop into it and life just seems to slow... if even for a bit.

Peace bro...

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I wish there really were a way to make the world slow down. Everything I try just seems to make it go speeding by faster.

Viamarie said...

Going to a SPA helps a lot. Hope you're feeling better today.

Enjoy your week!

Sandy said...

Depends on what's making me tense. Sometimes it's just sitting on the floor with the kids and doing something incredibly childish.

Other times it's soaking in a hot (yse HOT) tub with the required candle burning somewhere in the room. And then other times it's pulling a big quilt over me, snuggling down into a pillow and getting lost in a good book.

Maybe not completely ritualistic, but it all does slow the world some.

Sandy said...

oops, forgot to say that I hope you're over the residual missing voice soon!

~A~ said...

Ahhhhh, my element, tea is my thing. Not that fru fru flavors fake crap. No, good natural from plant material tea. Preferably hot but I'll drink it cold. And mostly herbal teas. I have a big dislike for drinking water since I "took a trip" to Cuba so I drink tea.

I love tea so much that I have an electric water pot for 24/7 on demand hot water, this also serves our french coffee presses. And for my tea on the go, which is all the time, my pick for cups 10 oz. Translucent Plastic Tea Tumbler. This is actually great around the house because I can put the lid on, walk away and not fear that the kids will spill it with their running in the house they're not supposed to do.

When I open my tea shop I'm totally going to stock a shelf of those cups. I carry them around in my bag and haven't had one leak on me yet.

Enough of my crazed product endorsing.

What tea are you using for your throat? Try adding some coltsfoot, 1 tsp per 1 cup and drink 3x daily.

Oh and to your question....

I have a ton of odd little rituals in my daily life. One that baffles most people who know me is that I have a prayer for just about everything, washing the dishes, feeding the critters, walking, planting, doesn't matter I have a prayer of some kind.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

On nice days...I go out on my Deck and I have a WONDERFUL Glider there that moves soooo smoothly it lulls me into relaxation, in spite of myself....it is a Michaya (?)

A cup of tea is a very nice addition to the glider, too!

Hope you are feeling much much better, Carmi.

Karen said...

Every morning, first thing, I pour a cup of coffee, pray for those on my "list" and then read the paper before everyone else wakes up. I'm a crab in the morning and this helps me get a jump on the day and turn into a human.

valbee said...

Sitting in my backyard on a gloriously sunny day without a cloud in the sky, with a book in my hands and my cat Mickey sitting under my chair. Unfortunately, this time of year those kinds of days don't exist. Here's hoping spring arrives soon...

Jennifer said...

To slow it down, I lock myself in the bathroom and count to a million. Kids, ya know.
No, seriously, I put them to bed and get a book or watch a little TV. Nobody is allowed to come downstairs after 10 PM. From 10 to midnight is MOM'S TIME, and encroaching on said time is punishable by death. (nah, not really).
Now, to speed the world up, I drink a huge cup of coffee with Vanilla Toffee Caramel creamer. If one cup doesn't do it, I'll have another...then a Pepsi, if necessary :)

Uisce said...

Hmm. Slow the world down. What would a guy named Whiskey do to slow the world down... hmm. I got nothing! :)

KaraMia said...

I read in the shower. Yes, I know it's weird and I end up with a bevy of water logged books, but it's my "me" time. My son knows that when i'm in the shower, it's off limits. I stretch my time out and let the water beat on my back and my mind slip away to some far off life centered in the pages of my current book.

kenju said...

A soak in a hot tub or the bathtub at home.....A nap in bed....a cup (or 6) of hot, black coffee, a swim in the pool, a good TV show, a great book to read....dinner with goodfriends....
praying.....making love.

I hope you get your voice back soon. You probably need to rest your vocal cords more often.

Prego said...

Hockey.

When I played soccer, a teammate of mine worried about the state of affairs with the adult league we played in. He argued that if the league folded, we'd lose "our only chance to feel like little kids."

I don't know if I was the only one who heard him or not, or if I was the only one who knew exactly what he meant and took the sentiment to heart. Either way, the next season I blew a ligament in my left knee. I wanted to ensure that I gave myself the opportunity to "feel like a little kid" at least once a week, so I started playing hockey - religiously.

As ironic as it sounds, the fast pace of a hockey game slows EVERYTHING down for me. All that matters is that little round disk, and admiring my friends' skills and good sportsmanships - as well as the beautiful plays.

Right now, I'm nursing a beauty of a contusion on my right foot, so I am at risk of feeling like an adult for the next two weeks. Sheesh. Maybe I'll take a picture of it for you!

Maybe I'll start smoking instead. Phyllis Diller's brand.

As always,
p

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

i am so into tea, there is nothing better.

Shane said...

hawaiian music grounds the noise

mommyof4 said...

I enjoy the tea along with a good book and no kids around. My tea of choice is chamomille.

Kimberly said...

One of my favorite ways to slow the world down is to brush one of our cats. There are few things I find more calming than a purring cat, and as ours love to be groomed, they rumble the whole time.

Plain Jane said...

I love mint tea (minty, haha), peppermint in particular and to change things up, lemon.

I slow the world down by shutting it out while I lay amid a froth of scented bubbles.

WendyWings said...

I usually have oilburners with lavender or ylang ylang oil burning,
also I am big on staring into fires ( only during the winter obviously)
Michele sent me back AGAIN we have such timing lol

Im Chele In [dot] LA said...

once again you know for me its sunsets..
As long as I can see the sun go down I am good..
Cause I know tomorrow will be a new day...

Kat said...

I really love your photography, Carmi. You always take the most beautiful pictures of seemingly mundane subjects. You really have an eye for this!

jude said...

Yes, tea can be a wonderful escape. My wife is quite the enthusiast and probably keeps about 20 varieties in stock. There is one variety that is strung together like a flower and "blooms" during steeping. Would probably make some nice photos coming out of your camera!!