quietude (or not) and tea :::
I read somewhere that there is a lull in conversation every 22 minutes. Undoubtedly, these data were collected from single people or couples without children. Although I sometimes joke with other parents, I am also absolutely serious when I state my social abilities have waned since becoming a mother. There is not a single conversation in the last four years where I have not been interrupted by a child or baby. As such, if placed in a social situation where I and another adult are expected to carry on a spritely conversation for 15 minutes without our kids flitting around us, I am sure I would not know what to do with myself, my ears ringing in the gaping silences, coffee cup clunking the tabletop, palms sweating, trying to think of something to say to fill the void.
My attempts at uninterrupted conversations are usually filled with factoids floating aimlessly in the air: “Did you know that Steve Jobs dropped out of college?” or “My daughter likes to eat peeled apples,” The factoid first floats like a downy feather, with me fiercely trying to keep it afloat, “Yeah, Reed College,” or “Green and red apples,” before it just falls like dead weight. I try to go forth with a topic, then halted with distraction of Peach’s need to ‘pee-pee’ and announce it to everyone or the need to chase a quick moving crawler from heaving himself into the trash bin. How do you go back to talk about the new iPhone apps when your baby just spit up all over your neighbor’s carpet? How do you talk about your friend’s ungainly dinner guest when your child is eating twigs at the park?
We move on, that’s what. We move through these cursory conversations, like Cliff’s Notes trying to cover the novel in a few pages. A few pages and a few diapers. Here is my tribute to our disjointed communions, our piecemeal chatter, and our tornadoes of multitasking. Drink this tea with a friend and listen. Listen to your words and build more than a staggering, crooked staircase of thread-bare conversations, that seem to lead to nowhere. Revel in the interludes of quiet between, no need to be filled, even if they happen more than every 22 minutes.
- 3 ounces rose water*
- 1-2 bags of black tea (depending on how strong your brew it and the type of tea you use -- I used 2 because I knew the ice cubes would dilute it some)
- 3 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons honey (You may want more, if you like a very sweet drink.)
- 4 pods of green cardamom
- Brew the tea with 3 cups of boiling water.
- Add cardamom pods and honey after 2 minutes.
- Allow to steep for a few minutes. Remove tea bags and cool to room temperature.
- Add rose water. Remove cardamom pods. Pour in tall glasses with ice and serve. Serves 3.