I attended a small group writing workshop yesterday and one of the warm up exercises was to write a list called People who suffer. When we shared our pieces, the unanimous perspective was that all people suffer, though in various different ways. No one escapes.
There’s that Buddhist parable of the Second Arrow. The various types of pain that life brings are inescapable. It’s a fact that people get sick, suffer mild annoyances and big losses, and die. The second arrow is suffering we inflict on ourselves as we deal with the
hardships that life brings, so essentially we stab ourselves with various negative thoughts about ourselves and our situation as we try to cope. However, the fact of the particular hardship remains the same. The pain that life brings is a fact whereas the suffering we inflict around that is optional.
These are my early morning mullings after having been woken by baby next door at 3 and then 4 and then 6. And now as I write this, her older brother is racing like a dervish, his footsteps thudding and echoing through the walls and throughout the space.
I wonder whether my cursing this loud, noisy, and profoundly inconsiderate family—ongoing issues, not just the children— is the second arrow and what, aside from moving, I could be doing differently.
Somehow this was to segue seamlessly to the description of this fine cup of tea. The transition eludes me. This cup, however, is delicious.
The citrus is bright, both flesh and rind. The spices are subtle enough to not hijack the rest of the flavours. The base is a bit creamy.