1,000 Cups of Tea

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It’s difficult to say goodbye.  I wander aimlessly around my living room, glancing at the vacant couch.  I lay on the carpet, listening to the void of conversation.  I watch the door, observing how it isn’t opening.  I blink.  I sigh.

I make tea.

I’ve made a thousand pots of tea and emptied a thousand conversations from the cups I poured it into.  Over those thousand conversations I have welcomed a thousand friends and then had to say goodbye a thousand times.

Every plane and car and bus leaving with a precious heart also leaves with a piece of mine, scattered across the map of my wanderings.  I ache at their absence.  Each parting leaves me with a sense that I shall never be whole again until all pieces can be reunited, together with the hearts to which they have attatched themselves.

Home is a thousand warm conversations and hell a thousand cold and empty cups of tea.

Staring at my sink of emptiness, I ask myself… Is it worth it?

Every time people leave with a sense of permanence to their departure, I am tempted to quit relationships.  I vow to never have a friend again.  I gather materials to construct walls around my sore and tender heart and get ready to hang my ‘no vacancy’ sign.  I decide that never again will I pour another cup of tea.  Never again will I hug a body I can’t hold forever.  It hurts too much to let go.

            Isn’t it better if I never knew you?

These empty cups remind me that life is fleeting beauty, a flower that blooms and dies, a season that comes and goes.  Every sun that rises must also set.  Life is a thousand beginnings and a thousand ends.  A thousand full cups of tea and a thousand empty ones.

Is beauty worth the pain that inevitably follows?

We want beautiful things to last forever.  But they don’t.  They come and they go.  Yes, every bright morning ends with a dark night.  But it is also followed by another bright morning.  We will only know this if we are brave enough to go outside again when the night has finished.

So in this delicate place between beginnings and endings, we can put the cups away and vow to never drink from them again.  Or we can prepare those empty cups for beauty to once more have a space to fill.

Beauty is in the cup of the beholder.  Learn to drink from the one that is warm in your hands.

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