Thank you, Gwen, for reminding me of the green of macha. For some years now, my dream has been to build a tea house. A proper Japanese tea house, a space both physical and metaphorical, that exists outside of the time and space of this bustling world.
I have collected a few utensils, but so far the tea house only exists in my mind.
The calligraphy on the little painting translates "To deal with each person I meet as if it were an unique occasion." That, I believe, is the heart of the tea ceremony, in both its theory and practise.
It can take a lifetime to master the art of serving a cup of tea.
In The Book of Tea, Kakuso Okakura says the tea ceremony is:
...a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.