Friday, January 6, 2012

Three Cups of Tea for the New Year

 The first cup of tea is sour as life. The second cup is sweet as love. The third is soft as death.

I first learned about the "Three Cups of Tea" custom in 2005 when I was visiting my local Ten Thousand Villages store/restaurant located in Ephrata, PA. It was the end of the school year and I was treating 3 of my advisory students to a lunch at the restaurant and in turn we were ALL treated to some storytelling by one of the third world artists who shared the story behind the tea ceremony. What a joy, what an art memory... for the tea ceremony went beyond the tea leaves, and purity of water and boiling time lapse... while we waited for each cup to steep we were treated to a story of how to wear/wrap a turban and ahhh, the colors of the cloths were so beautiful.
May 2005 my three students visiting Ten Thousand Villages to meet a jewelry artist.

Movie on preparing the cups of tea click on the play button above to view.

Preparing the tea.

Making a new friend over tea and learning how to wrap a turban.
Showing off the beauty of the different colored cloths.
I had been teaching my students that year about world crafts and fair trade and how to create crafts, and how to sell them to fundraise for local nonprofits like our local women's shelters.... it was nice to connect with my students on a weekly basis on how to learn how to knit and weave. It was a small charter school (only 100 students grades 6-12) and I so loved working there my 3 years until my grant position ran out and then I was contracted to work in the public school system under a different grant. Funny how even then .... years before I was to begin to even think about starting my own social venture (Alchemy: discovering, exploring, enjoying) I had the spirit of creating in my heart and the love for sharing my discoveries.

It seems like the spirit of the "Three Cups of Tea" is becoming a theme for me in 2012. First with the creation of my New Year's ATC cards, second with me finding these old photos of my students, and third with me also finding two very important books that spoke to me years back and yet I had discarded them for a future read not having time to devote to them. Never having enough time to sit and complete my readings once I found them again in my home library I placed them center stage on my coffee table so I would move forward with my 2012 venture to create art and balance in my life and in my enjoyment. I am glad to report that I am almost done with "Art is a way of Knowing" and "Three Cups of Tea" is close behind.

My 2012 Reading List: 

A Guide to Self-Knowledge and Spiritual Fulfillment through Creativity

Three Cups of Tea
One Man’s Mission to Promote

Three Cups of Tea is one of the most remarkable adventure stories of our time. Greg Mortenson’s dangerous and difficult quest to build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan is not only a thrilling read, it’s proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world.” -Tom Brokaw

What is on your reading list for 2012?



  1. know that everything happens for a reason. Beautiful post. Beautiful picture of you! And BTW...I love your new header.

  2. @bohemiannie! artLOL! I have to say you make me laugh (such a good thing). I kept thinking to myself ... but I don't have a picture of myself with this post... what does she mean... I think I get it now:-) Thanks for the feedback on my new header... my blog was calling for something new to embrace the New Year! I am so excited about this year as I am beginning to open up to my fears and truly living that "curious girl" philosophy for living a creative lifestyle. Looking forward to reading up on all your new ventures for 2012.

  3. Great post Sandra! Thank you for sharing your adventure and how looking back you can see how your present was being formed before you really knew it. I love the new header also! I am going to visit my local used book store and look for Art is a Way of Knowing!

  4. @~Rasz~Hi Robin, thanks for the positive feedback on the header (I'm getting to really like creating them). Yeah, for used book stores and third party sales on amazon...LOL... that's where I turn to buy my used books or out of print art books (I tend to like old school art theory and abstract artwork of artist no longer alive thus no longer publishing;-) Please let me know if and when you buy Art is a Way of Knowing... maybe we could start an online book club. I'm really enjoying the read and discovering so much about myself and how and why I create art the way I do.



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