Sunday, 30 May 2010

Life Changing Moments

My daughter will visit me today so I know that this will be a good day. I so love having my family around me. They fill me with warm joyous thoughts. They also make sure my feet stay planted firmly on reality. They are a wonderful responsibility.

I watched a programme about the up and coming world football cup. This year it is to be held in South Africa in four years time it will move to Brazil. How sad I was to learn that both of these countries also have something else in common. Both have a real and growing problem of child prostitution. I sat in tears as a mother explained that she took great care to protect her two girls, only allowing them to go with people she felt were safe. My mind could not comprehend the so called logic of he rationale.

Yesterday Jerry, as usual put his finger to the heart of the matter. He suggested if people sue and lose they should have to pay the amount. We do somehow need to find ways of helping people to see that there are always other ways, other alternatives.

Now before this gets too heavy and a sad way to start a day let me tell you a lovely little true story.

I was invited to have tea with a Japanese family. When my daughter arrives today it will be the first thing she will ask for. She loves a cup of tea. This family took this to a different level. Each stage of the tea making and pouring was done with great dignity and ceremony. The pot was turned slowly three times round 360%. The tea was poured into very delicate porcelain cups. They were then turned and slowly passed to the assembled drinkers. The whole experience bound us together and brought with it a calm I had never experienced before, even in meditation.

After the ceremony I asked, “Why do you make your teacups so thin and delicate that they break easily. "It's not that they're too delicate,” answered my host, "but that you don't know how to handle them. You must adjust yourself to the environment, and not vice versa."

This moment has stuck with me down the years. I have tried my very best to remember those words, as I am sure you who read this also have. Art makes us see the world as a partner and something to live in harmony with. We will never solve the problems of the world but today I will bring some joy to my little corner of it. I hope somebody does that for you.

This is the way of Tao.

This Blog is linked to my other :-  Haunted Memories


  1. Good Morning Ralph, I am alive and well and it is going to be a great day. I too value my "little corner" of the world and nothing is better than a cup of nice tea with my family in my garden. For a moment at least I can be with family and friends and surrounded with beauty.
    Still I can't totally shut out the "outside world" and now I am especially sad about the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico! The latest effort to stop the leak failed and the next effort won't be ready until August and we are told it will continue spewing oil, thousands of barrels a day, until then! The devastation to the Earth will make God cry! and my own little island cannot remove this image from my mind! Now, what is the Way of Tao?

  2. This painting reminds me of Jerusalem, Ralph and I love it. I think if people worked harder at adapting instead of crashing like a bull through a china shop of life, it would be so much more joyous, don't you?

  3. Yes, tea using a tea bag dunked into a thick mug just doesn't have any finesse or social bonding as in your story. This post reminds me to bring out my red tea pot the next time I have friends over for a cuppa.

    'Adjusting to the environment' is wise indeed, and something I am painfully in the process of trying.

  4. Hello Ralph, it all comes down to somehow acceptance and trying to say YES to it all which is a hard concept for me to grasp and follow.
    I love tea as a ritual but mine is far more Nanny orientated ritual than Japanese. Enjoy your day. xx

  5. Fun visit with your daughter? Kids always seem to make me cut loose of any pretensions and just get back to what is genuine and real.

  6. Love that about adjusting to your environment. True!

  7. Very interesting. I have often thought about how art can bridge between reality and our "felt inner". Love the painting.