Tea & radical imagination

I haven’t kept up with my recent posting output and I didn’t get a Weekend Review out, but right now it feels a little ridiculous to spend time writing about tea at all. I hope you all are staying safe. I want to make it clear that this blog supports the abolition of police & prisons alongside a total reformation of the United States to abolish capitalism and develop a new and more humane society. This will take a lot of work so keep drinking lots of tea to prepare.

250g of fresh sheng maocha. Is this enough?

Drinking tea can be a refuge and a chance to recharge. Gongfu brewing in particular does force you to slow down and pay attention to what you’re doing and how you feel. I’m not really into mindfulness but I think there is value in paying closer attention to how your body and mind feels – this sort of introspection is not really emphasized in American culture which probably encourages people to ignore stress and health concerns. Maybe taking the time to focus on tea can be an opportunity to check in on yourself as well.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the tea hobby is sharing it with others. I’m lucky to be able to drink tea every morning with my girlfriend, but overall connecting with friends over tea is more difficult right now with quarantine and social distancing. I’m hoping to get in some Zoom sessions soon. I’ve heard a lot of friends and coworkers saying that they are actually communicating with their friends and family more after COVID-19 than before as everyone is embracing the ease of video calls and chats.

To pass the time, I’ve been learning to draw, working on my Mandarin, and reading. It’s hard to stay motivated to do anything creative, but I think it’s even more important in times of stress and despair to make sure you’re spending time learning and creating things outside of work. I suspect some people who are moving to remote work are going to burn out quickly as they suddenly cannot separate their work and home life. My job was remote before the pandemic and it suits me, but I hold myself to a strict schedule and don’t ever work outside of my normal hours. The main benefit of working from home is being able to drink tea all day long with full access to your stash and equipment.

Somewhere in Mengsong area, Xishuangbanna.

Whether you’re stuck at home or out in the streets, now is a great time to imagine how our world could be different. What if the work week was shortened? What if money spent on police and military budgets was used for healthcare, education, housing and art? What if our personal data was truly private and unavailable for advertisements or surveillance? What if our politicians were no longer beholden to corporations and instead actually pursued the interests of the people? What if we made the radical changes necessary to save the planet’s natural environment? These questions may seem far-fetched but they really aren’t impossible. We are witnessing breakdowns of the status quo every day and our society will change as a result. I invite you to imagine a world you’d prefer to live in and find a few concrete ways you can help get us there. A long tea session is an excellent opportunity to dive in.

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