The Time of the Last Drop
03.15.2016, 10:28 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
 the time of the last drop, FOP 2016

It has been a record breaking, warm winter on planet Earth, and New York has been no exception. After many recent warm days, it’s hard to believe that Sunday, March 20th, marks the official start of spring in the Northern hemisphere. The reports that continue to flood in make it clear that we’re now living in a time of unpredictable and volatile weather realities with direct links to climate change.

Given the increasingly strange weather, we’re finding it difficult to align our local experiences with the larger, seasonal cycles of the past. Historically, the equinox provided humans a meaningful alignment to seasonal weather on Earth. But after a string of frigid days in the Northeast, followed by several in the upper 70s, we feel as though we’re living in the Fifth Season of untimely, unseasonable Anthropocenian weather events.

In honor of the upcoming vernal equinox, which will arrive like always, thanks to the tilt of the Earth no matter what the weather, we just mailed our second postcard dispatch for the Living Deep Time Year 000001 project.  The project’s Kickstarter backers should be receiving it soon.

The most recent dispatch offers an embodied meditation on seasonality and ephemerality. In Japan, last drop of tea that falls from a tea pot is given great significance. It’s said to hold all the flavor of the tea, its fullest potential. The reality of this last drop and the potential it holds is fleeting and requires patience. To wait for it is to acknowledge and celebrate an acceptance of limits — the last, final drop that is also the fullest, most flavorful drop.

back of postcard dispatch #2, from Living Deep Time Year 000001

The postcard dispatch includes a very special bag of gyokuro tea. It comes from a tea growing region in Kyoto prefecture known for its gyokuro. Gyokuro is a rich and full tea that requires shading from the sun for the final weeks of its growing season. The shade concentrates its flavor and nutrient content. The company that we buy this tea from, Maiko Tea, is part of a tea cooperative and has taken great care in cultivating gyokuro for many decades. As many know, tea cultivation in Japan is serious business, and is deeply attuned to seasonal change. We are very happy to share this tea with our supporters.

Of course, this tea is entangled with complex Anthropocene realities. Everyone receiving it has had it shipped to them across oceans and continents. Massive global flows take up this tea, this exquisite outcome of sun, rain, human cultivation, earth and season, and transform it into a product of packing, shipping, and economic concern. In our cups, the tea leaves mix with waters entangled with human design and impact upon planetary systems.

In this time of strange weather, we sense it is important to take a moment to pause.

The vernal equinox, historically a time of balance and alignment, is an appropriate time to turn toward and simply be with a few of  these realities. We’ll brew a cup of tea — in all of its complexities — and usher the last drop into its time, and ours.
 front of postcard dispatch #2, from Living Deep Time Year 000001



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