2.22.2013

INNOCENT MORNING TEA WITH ORHAN PAMUK


I will never be accused of neglecting life's small moments. I'm reading a brilliant and charming and eccentric and loving and achingly sweet, yearning book by Orhan Pamuk called The Innocence of Objects. I have to put it down from time to time just to catch my breath. Longing to fly to Istanbul just to see the museum that is the subject of this book, which I hope does indeed exist but reality can be a fleeting concept for a novelist. "Our museum has been built on the contradictory desires to tell the stories of objects and to demonstrate their timeless innocence."


As someone who has built a great deal of her life on the same desire, I'm lingering at every exhibit. Pamuk is a chronicler of heartbreak--and funny, too. Do enough people appreciate that the broken-hearted are the real humorists of kindhuman? Throughout the museum tour, Pamuk keeps up a running dialogue with the protagonist of his novel The Museum of Innocence--indeed, they have collaborated on the museum: "During one of our late night raki drinking sessions, I found out that he sometimes associated kissing with visions of a mother seagull putting food into her impatient chicks' open beaks."


And so I've had the innocence of tea on my mind. Talking with my friend Kate about how we start the day, I learned that she dives right into email and news in the morning. I used to do that but it made me crabby and sad with bad news. So I developed a tea meditation.


Focus on the assembling, the making, the drinking of the first cup in a warm fuzzy half awake mind. This makes me happy, and I settle into the day with more grace. Even the crystals of sugar look magical, and the bear filled with buckwheat honey looks pleased with this new routine. And how all these years have I missed the limp, depleted, crumpled beauty of a handmade tea bag seeping milky tears?

18 comments:

Sheila said...

I just returned from Istanbul. Read Pamuk's wonderful "Istanbul" while I was there but somehow missed his museum. Dang. I'll return!

Judith said...

Morning tea is near the top of my list of those things that make life worth living. I love the tea ritual, boiling the water, warming the pot, measuring out the leaves, pouring it into a beautiful mug already holding some milk.... and though I don't sweeten mine, you might like to try crystallized ginger in yours sometime. Thank you, as always for the book recommendation.I will give Orhan Pamuk a try.

Mia said...

My morning ritual is not with tea, I am a morning coffee drinker. My son, decided because I live alone, I should have a Keurig coffee maker and bought me one for Christmas. It took me a few weeks to accept this machine in my kitchen, but I have made peace with it. It has actually helped me cut down on my coffee intake as I absolutely refuse to use more the one K cup per morning, which I keep to myself, lest I get a lecture from my son on how I should "not sweat the small stuff".
Thank you for the photos, and the book suggestion. Hopefully, we will only get rain this weekend and not snow. The last three weekends i have spent watching snow coming down and watching Downton Abbey seasons one and two, which I highly recommend to everyone.

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lindab said...

Thank you for sharing your morning tea with us. This, to my mind, adult-picture-book w. commentary is something you do so beautifully. I do like OP's books enormously and will be on the lookout for The Innocence of Objects.

slowlovelife said...

What a riot, Molly. Yes, the meditation here is: the endless return of the same. And the swift departure of the beloveds. I would date Faust if it meant I could make peanut butter sandwiches for my seagull hatchlings again!

slowlovelife said...

Lovely about the warmth on fingers. I hadn't even gotten to that yet. Kate, you reading? And now that I'm thinking about the warmth, I am also feeling the shape of the clay, the ridges carved into the clay body of my mug, under my fingers too....

slowlovelife said...

Love love love the concept of adult picture book! many thanks! that appeals to the person not so deep inside of me who still wants to cuddle against someone, look at pictures, and try to read!

slowlovelife said...

Have also just heard about an upcoming series based on Parade's End (a wonderful book though not as much fun to read as Forsyth Saga....) Be on the lookout!

slowlovelife said...

Good idea to return! What was your favorite thing about Istanbul? we should start a Must See Thread

slowlovelife said...

Thank you Mary...I love nothing more than this kind of encouragement which I am delighted to learn is for more Adult Picture Books....

slowlovelife said...

Actually I don't usually start the day with sugar, or even with milk...funny. I seem to do that only on weekends, when I can sink into a stupor....agree with you. Will DEFINITELY buy some crystallized ginger.....great idea. thanks.

Heather in Arles said...

And the weight of the mug in your hands...

Judith said...

And speaking of tea, this was in this morning's NY Times Travel section http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/travel/in-northern-germany-a-robust-tea-culture.html?_r=0 I have a feeling that I'd love a cuppa this stuff.

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