She was a performance artist with a thing for tea…
Tea is the agricultural product of the leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of the Camellia sinensis plant, prepared and cured by various methods. “Tea” also refers to the aromatic beverage prepared from the cured leaves by combination with hot or boiling water, and is the common name for the Camellia sinensis plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely-consumed beverage in the world. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour which many enjoy.
Tea was, after all, part of the Ay Ombe Theatre tradition. Like fasting and samba and early morning silent meditations. Many a time, I came on one or the other of them drinking tea in Josefina’s room. Brew, pour, sip, talk.
Around the small rehearsal space Angelica paced, making it her own. Watching intently, as Radha Sullur drew Chitaara and Rangoli on the floor. Painting mandalas using powdered laterite that has remained, as is, on the floor today. She made a tea ceremony for us, patient, as it grew dark and we were lit with only a single lantern beneath the thatch. Then she swept a pile of tea dust, that she bought from the Vardenahalli chai kade, onto a pan and sprinkled it in a ring around the space. She left her hand-prints on the floor.
Angelica is a genus of about 60 species of tall biennial and perennial herbs in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, reaching as far North as Iceland and Lapland. They grow to 1-3 m tall, with large bipinnate leaves and large compound umbels of white or greenish-white flowers. Some species can be found in Purple Moor and Rush Pastures.
On Febryary 27th 2010, Chile was struck by an earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter Scale. The epicentre was near Conćepcion. This quake is said to have changed the earth’s axis and rotational speed thus shortening our days by 1.26 microseconds. It was followed by a tsunami alert. All this was reported in tiny news items buried somewhere in the Bangalore newspapers.
Maria Angelica Perez Germain was on Juan Fernandez Island with her boyfriend when the wave struck. Her boyfriend was found, but her friends and family are still looking for her.
On Drinking Tea Alone...
In my own hands I hold a bowl of tea;
I see all of nature represented in its green color.
Closing my eyes I find green mountains and pure water within my own heart.
Silently sitting alone and drinking tea, I feel these become part of me.
On Drinking Tea With Friends...
What is the most wonderful thing for people
like myself who follow the Way of Tea? My answer:
The oneness of host and guest,
created through 'meeting heart to heart',
and sharing a bowl of tea.
- by Soshitsu Sen, Grand Master XIV, Urasenke School of Tea