Wednesday, December 13, 2006

a white room

This ever present cold-bug has turned me into an herbal tea junkie. Yesterday I drank lots of something called Shanti Ayurvedic Blend. I found it at the co-op and bought it 1.) because it had the would "shanti" in it (which means "peace") and 2.) because the jar it was in had a label on it that said it possesses healing powers for the immune system as well as the ability to bring balance into one's life. Hell yeah...totally worth the $3.46 that I spent on it, if you ask me. And it tasted good, too.

Today my drink of choice is another herbal tea that my sister bought for me called Breath Deep. It's got a picture of a saddhu meditating on the box and is full of goodies like licorice root, basil, eucalyptus, ginger root, cinnamon, thyme, peppermint, cardamom, mullein leaf...yeah, you get the's packed full of flavor and warm comfort. Not to mention, it's making me feel rather spiritual...yes, it's that good. ha! ;)

In other news, there is still not a speck of snow on the ground and the thin layer of ice that was briefly on the lakes have already started to thaw. If I hear one more person remark that they love global warming I'm gonna have to smack 'em. They say it with such chipperness, such happiness. I just can't help but think, "my god, people, what's wrong with you?!" I don't mean to be over-serious but every time I hear people say they love global warming, a blaring image of a brown crispy-fried planet creeps into my head. Well, to each their own...I guess. I'll just keep drinking my tea and hope for snow sometime soon.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to going home for Christmas. I've been finding myself daydreaming of tromping around in the woods with Anu (off of her leash) a lot lately. Yeah, I have woods here...but I miss the kind of woods that stretch out for miles and miles and miles. I miss the kind of woods where you can't hear the constant hum of traffic in the background...instead, only sweet silence. I'm glad I moved away...but, my god, I'm looking forward to a long awaited road-trip north. There are two places that my body and soul have felt the most at home. One is in the woods of northern Minnesota and the other in India. Maybe someday I'll be able to travel between the two...but, for now, I'm grateful for the nature I have out my front door and for the mega-nature I will soon be going home to enjoy (never enough) of.

I live in the city now--and I love it. But it's funny how we create balance in our life. I like the way life ebbs and flows in the way that it does. These past months have been strange for me as I attempt to make sense of where I'm at and where I want to go. There has been a constant sense of impermanence...a feeling of relevance. Every once in awhile there are days that feel little more than futile...but, more often, I feel like this is all just part of my path towards whatever comes next.

These days I'm reading a book by Twyla Tharp called The Creative Habit. I got it for my birthday and when I opened it up, the first sentence read: "I walk into a large white room." For some reason, this sentence "spoke" to me on a very deep level. I love the idea of a white room, a blank page, a white canvas. Despite my fears, there is so much POTENTIAL in that empty space. This is my year of "empty space." Then again, every year contains a little bit of empty space...every moment contains room for creation. Later in the chapter, Tharp writes: "Bottom line: Filling this empty space constitutes my identity."

Recently, Sophie wrote a question on her blog. "What is your metaphor?" I keep returning to this thought; it rolls into my head at odd times--when I'm walking or doing the dishes or shelving books at work or watering the plants or taking a shower. And so I'm sitting here right now wondering: if I were to walk into a large white room and fill it with a metaphor of myself, what would it look like?

And the first thing that comes to mind is huge, dark, saturated wild iris. But it doesn't end there. You see, there's an entire room to fill and I'm constantly discovering new things about myself--new colors, new ideas, new passions. In every moment I am creating myself.

Empty space. An empty white room. What do I want to fill it with? What do you want to fill it with?
I can't help but love the prospects.


Anonymous said...

i have that book, although it's in the "to be read" pile. :)
i love your writing, jessie. you have a way of making the smallest daily events so special through your words. sorry to hear you're sick, and i hope you are on your way to email from me soon, my dear...xoxo!

Kristine said...

I love teas like the ones you described. I have been drinking Yogi Teas. They are realy good. I have thought about buying that Twyla Tharp book. It sounds like worthwhile read...

Susannah said...

what an inspiring post - thank you love. I'm going to go have a mug of my 'Love tea' (camomile, lavender and rose - yum) and think about what i will fill my white room with... x

Vesper said...

that tea sounds yummy. i've been drinking gallons of double spice chai. the cinnamon scent is divine! my new fave! get better soon!

Spiky Zora Jones said... inspire me. with your thoughts of a white room. Your words lay on the surface and like snow they melt away...seeping into me. Refecting my way. I now see what you say. I laughed lightly as I write a song, thanks to you. I'll send it far away, my English friend will one day sing. later.

Anonymous said...


i have to pick up that book now, that sentence struck me as well. and thanks to you i think i have another blog to be addicted to...yay!

i hope you're feeling better, love.


Vesper said...

i just corrected the date and time on my new blog, so our comments are at the top....but only this once. i just noticed that the post and comments said the had to fix that! ;) thanks for the comments!!

Jessie said...

ruby--i thought of you when i found the book because it, in a way, reminds me of Living Artfully. when you get around to reading it, you're gonna love it. i promise! (is it ok to say that even though i've only read the first 11 pages? haha!)

kristine--heehee...the 2nd one IS Yogi Tea. i love it that we're drinking the same sort of goodness. ;)

susannah--chamomile, lavender, and rose tea?! OMG that sounds like HEAVEN!!! do you get the rose from petals? or do you just buy the blend? or what?! i want some! :)

vesper--yeah, you seem like a double spice kind of girl...which is why i'm glad i've "met" you. and thanks for the well wishes, btw. i'm starting to feel much better.

spiky--please, please, or pretty please continue writing on your blog! i love getting your comments...i want to leave comments for you, too! :)

bee--i hope you're feeling better too. can we just hang out and be lazy and sick together? maybe just lounge around and drink tea and crush pigment together or something. yeah, that would be nice. ;) be well, didi.

deirdre said...

I'll have to think about this for a while. This couple of years have changed my sense of self and I'm really not sure who or what I am right now, much less what my metaphor might be. Intriguing thought.

I hope those teas help. Anything warm and soothing has to have some sort of healing power.

sophie said...

i would pay up to five dollars
for balance and a boost to
my immune system

i am drinking green tea and
eating dark lime chocolate
and i want to paint this room
an indian red:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me about the Tharp book--it was on my wishlist.

A white room...Give me colored pens--to reflect my moods--and I would fill that like I filled my last moleskine.

Anonymous said...

you found me!!! :)

yeah, i'm fed up with blogger. but nothing's quite set up yet so i want to wait to make the big announcement until it's more set up. and of course we can be sickees together - i think it'd be fun to cuddle with you. :)

Amber said...

That is a great question...I don't know. I would have to really think about it!

I like this post, the way you rthoughts play out here. And oh! I love the woods. I hope you have hours of peace and green quiet!


Anonymous said...

Oh your post made me long to sit and have some tea with you even more than before:)

Denise told me about airborne and it works miracles.

Had to stop and tell you I miss you and send you tons of hugs and kisses

Loralee Choate said...

Your house is magical and so are the woods around it!!!

I am happy tea is making you feel better, and I send condolances to your neglected "Coffee Corner" (Which is AMAZING)


Anonymous said...

Love your post and talk of tea and the white room and how you plan to fill it; of finding balance. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever live in anything other than a state of impermanence, with many things constantly changing. Beautiful writing, Jessie. (And I want to smack those people who say that about global warming too. They need to get a clue!). xo

silverlight said...

each new day is 'a white room' available to be written on.

Jamie said...

Wow, girl, what a lot of richness in this post. First of all - what a cool job it must be naming teas! There seems to be as much yummy goodness in the names as in the ingredients!

And I hear you on the global warming. It's 7 degrees here in Toronto and for this time of year that is just plain weird. At times I enjoy it and then 2 worries come to mind: global warming, of course, and that it's an important part of my heritage as a Canadian to be able to tough out the cold of winter.

And oh, oh, the Twyla Tharp book. I have been eyeing that one for a while. How are you finding it. When I read your retelling of the first sentence, tears filled my eyes. I'm longing for that white room too, I guess.

And what a beautiful image for yourself. I'd love to see a painting of that wild iris :)

Have a great trip home!

Jessie said...

Jamie, I am LOVE, LOVE, LOVING this book! I'm savoring it slow and easy...but today I finished chapter 3 or 4. Really honestly...I think it is definately up your alley, too.