|Summer yunomi on patio |
at Collegeville Institute
I bought two yunomi (the taller than they are wide Japanese everyday tea cups) — a summer one and a winter one) — fired in the Abbey's wood kiln. You can see the marks of the flames on the winter cup, which the potter named the "scholar's mug," and every time I drink from it I think of the abbey's hospitality and Abba Joseph, his hands aflame.
I quickly learned not to fill the handleless mug all the way with tea, the ceramic quickly becomes too hot to lift. It's a lesson I keep re-learning, as I am tempted to add just a tad more in hopes of not having to return to the kitchen for a refill as often.
As I return to the classroom after my sabbatical, my scholar's mug reminds me not to fill my days or calendar too full. It's a lesson I have to keep re-learning here, too. Somehow I have three classes, in different parts of the building, in very different parts of the curriculum (an introductory class, a graduate class, a major's upper division class), scheduled back to back and through lunch. By the end of the day on Wednesday my metaphorical mug was too hot to handle.
Every day, I begin again.