The pursuit of (tea) perfection

I just spent a fair part of the day browsing through the web and discovered  tea articles and tea blogs.

Its crazy, once you get started on it, more and more existing sites reveal themselves to me and its actually a bigger tea community that I ever thought there would ever be. I am especially surprised about the many American or generally Western people that blog about tea and have tremendous insights.

For example: I was reading about these very old Yixing clay tea pots earlier and there exist English speakers with no Chinese knowledge whatsoever and they still participated in Chinese spoken auctions on ancient tea pots with money values involved that went up to 10.000USD and more.

Many of them have actually moved to Taiwan or China to be able to refine their research and to really dive into the tea culture. Its amazing and I doubt I will ever reach such understanding in tea as these guys do, they have basically spent all their life on it. But I also have to tell myself, that its simply unlikely that I will ever gain such amounts of vast knowledge of tea as those tea passionists and I simply have to accept that.

Off course, some parts of me glorify these people, thats a naturally tendency of mine. When I see people sharing the same passion as I or doing the work I do, then I start comparing myself with them and try to understand what they know and what I dont know, what they do and what I do different. In this mental process they become “holy” ones or “untouchables” that are superior to me on knowledge. Its some sort of mystification going then.

Looking at it objectively its kinda silly, like that little screaming girl admiring her boy band, but on the other hand for me it really fuels me, tickles my curiosity and lets me suck in each little piece of information that these “sages” of mine possess in order for me to come close to their level and to try to become level even. This is a process that will never finish, cuz simply while I do my part of learning, the “sacred” ones do theirs too and we will never be on the same level.

Its a little bit like with the rat race of life, you will simply never achieve perfection in your specific field of choice. But the race is inspiring and pushes you forward, it just fuels your passion even more, at least thats what it does to me.

Its important however to regularly tell yourself to not keep on chasing the knowledge and your idols without taking time to pause and reflect, otherwise you will be in the race forever and wont have the time or the space to enjoy what wonderful insights you have gained in your pursuit.

This all might sound very broad and unspecific to you, to the objective reader. I just questioned myself, would I as not-me be able to follow these thoughts?

Maybe, I would, I dont know. But to make it easier to understand just try to ask yourself if you have these idealistic views sometimes, these longings for perfection in yourself at some stage. Dont you have sometimes this feeling when you look at your boss in your company and wish you had that knowledge he has or his ways of thinking? Or maybe in a sport you practice there is someone so skillful and you wish you be as skillful as him too?

Comparing yourself to the “better” person or to your ideals is probably just a human natural thing. But again, its important to treat your strive for perfection, this catch up to your ideals, in a right way.

Keep on following it and become better over time and regularly take your time to breath and appreciate your rewards in time and never let guilt creep up on you, cuz guilt comes into place when you compare yourself to your high ideals and judge yourself as negative because you did not reach the high level of it. Accept it: You will NEVER reach it. :-)

So give in and let go, accept this truth. Strive to become better while following your mentors and muses and realize that while you are doing it, that you are on your way of becoming the next ideal to the followers of yours.

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