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The Scent of Sound

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Drinking tea this morning at first light, filtering through the mental noise. Looking back to find the point of stillness.

While the kettle was boiling I wrote a blog about tea storage, techniques and theory. After two brews of a Raw Pu-Erh, the energy shifts, mind settles. All that now seems rather wordy, and in a way counter-productive. Drifting along with the scent from the smelling cup, allowing the mind to go out and come back — like an echo. The scent then seemed transformed to me, into a sound.

Remembering then the music we would often play in our tea shop in Vancouver, music of the Gu-Qin. Hearing it once more, letting it reverberate through the soft tissue, as it has a thousand times before. Suddenly I find myself here, and also in a far off place — another time. Consciousness waffling out, like the memory of a dream.

Sometimes I long to drink tea in the Tang Dynasty — or perhaps the Ming — in a thatched roof Inn along a wide river. The twang of the Gu-Qin strings stretching far, elongating the mind across the water; wafting though the reeds and dissipating on the light breeze.

Moments later called back to the world by a low car stereo, and the rousing of the household. Dawn is called the golden hour for a reason. It’s a transient monastery for one.

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