I wish you all a happy new year! I enjoyed this year´s last bowl of tea with my wife by candlelight. 2015 was the very first year I had the opportunity to do temae every single day, lets hope 2016 offers the same opportunity.
From my place next to the crackling fireplace I see the tree naked but for a few rain soaked leaves framed against a grey sky. With the lingering taste of tea still in my mouth, I’m anticipating opening the ro tomorrow, and starting a new season of Tea.
At the last day of the season I’m considering what I did and didn’t do during the season that has passed. The one Tea-thing that I most regret, is that I neither hosted nor attended any Tea events during the furo season. On the other hand, I did temae every single day, and my students did a total of 42 temae. In addition we made 13 regular and 9 dictionary episodes of TeaLife.Audio podcast.
Looking at my temae-record early in October I noticed that I had done quite a few temae nine times, and for no reason in particular I decided to see how many temae I would be able to do nine times during the season. It is odd, I can still remember the years that I struggled to do each temae just once during a season, and this season I have done 12 temae nine times, and I have done 28 temae once or more. I’m blessed to be able to do Tea so often.
I have read somewhere that writing down your goals make you much more likely to reach them. For the upcoming season my goals are to do temae every single day, host weekly keiko, build a table for ryurei, host hatsugama and at least one more event.
Since I last posted about the “Stabbur” project not to much have happened with the project. I was distracted be the urge to first get a propper bathroom inside the main house, then to make sure the main building was properly drained. Since that last drainage activity was quicker than anticipated I was left with a two day vacation to try to get something done on the Tea house. During the summer I was able to finish ut the south wall of the “Stabbur,” as shown in the first photo.
This Thursday to Sunday is dedicated to the Tea house. Some work had perviously been done on the west wall so I decided to start with that.
Thursday saw the lower part to completion. Friday I started tearing down the old planks of the upper section, then reconstructing the wall according to modern building practice. I added more support beams, and covered up with huge boards 120cm x 240xm that i designed to keep the wind out and also give some insulation. These was then covered with a water resistant layer. Finished it of with small 1” x 2” that I later will attache the planks too. This allows air to circulate between the water/wind layer and the wooden planks preventing rot.
I’ll keep updating this post over the weekend, so look back if your interested in following the progress.
Back in 2009, I wrote a post titled Why begin with Ryakubon. Here, I wondered whether it would not be better for new students to start learning Irekodate instead of the traditional Ryakubon. The ease of transition from Irekote to Hakobi, and my own experience of starting with Hakobi usucha were my main reasons for preferring Irekodate as a starting point.
Ryakubon vs Irekodate
Now I’m actually considering taking on some new students, and this made me reconsider the topic. Earlier this year, I timed most of my teamaes for a while. I found that Ryakubon takes me 7 minutes to perform, while Irekodate takes 15 minutes. I was very surprised that Irekodate takes twice as long. I always imagined the difference to be much less.
I also made a rough list of the main warigeiko topics related to each of the temaes. This was just a way for me to compare the complexity of the temae. As you can see from my list, Irekodata has almost twice as many warigeiko points as Ryakubon.
These findings convinced me that there are good reasons to start with Ryakubon. I decided to stick to this traditional startingpoint for learning Tea, and I will start new students off with Ryakubon.