Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm a Little Teapot

It started when I was watching an old episode of “All Creatures Great and Small.” I was taken by the poetry of an English ‘Tea.’ The hostess asked “Shall I pour out?”, which is quite uncommon to the ‘Colonial Ear.’ But it caught my fancy with its rather regal formality and elegant simplicity. “Shall I pour out” spoke to me of an offering of whatever is the best of what I have. And I looked up at the Occupant, of a shelf, in this single, little room, that I call Home.

It is one of my favorite possessions. A little “short and stout” teapot that resembles the image attached here (though, admittedly, with its soft yellow body and gilt spout and trim, far lovelier [to my eye.]) ‘Twas a surprise gift from Bob and Donna, brought up to my little insurance agency office on a summer day in Temple Terrace, Florida. My office was above their coffee/tea/sandwich shoppe in the Sherwood Forest shopping village. Donna and Bob exchanged visits with me going down to their place and them dropping in on me with frequent regularity. I had often offered them the hospitality of tea served from a simple, inexpensive (sounds so much nicer than "cheap", don't you agree?]), and quite ordinary pot.

“The special-ness of your hospitality, and moments shared, deserve something that reflects the quality of times shared with you. So we want you to have this.” And they presented me with the teapot. “1650” is printed in relief (as part of the image of the tea merchant’s traditional guild symbol) on the pot’s side. And on its bottom is the imprinted message that the pot originated from the Davison, Newman, & Co. LTD, “providers of the tea for the Boston Tea Parties.” And I looked upon it with a fresh appreciation, as I watched the televised afternoon tea, illustrated in the program that I was watching. And I thought, “We ‘pour out’ from our best presentation of our Self … the best of what we have produced, within our Self, in life.”


Yep! That’s exactly what I thought, those fifteen or so, years ago. I have been reminded of that truth on several recent occasions. I have listened to dear Friends verbalizing their frustrations, anger, pain, and anxieties … and as I listened, I was impressed with the “stuff” that they were willingly and consciously ‘pouring into’ their personal, emotional, and mental ‘teapots.’ And have done my very best to encourage them to step away from the immediacy of the moment … and consider what they were ‘brewing’ for future ‘pouring out' in the form of their sense of self worth, and their impact on the world that they touch (work associates, family, children, lovers, friends, and even strangers.)

For, don’t you see, My Dear Friend, we can never 'pour out' anything better than what 'brews’ from what we allow, encourage, and design to become part of who we are inside. The twentieth century, computer-age, rule that we have so oft heard repeated … “GIGO” (garbage in, garbage out) … was true far before the significance of the computer was ever dreamed of. What we dwell on; what we talk about; what we repeat and give a place of discussion to; what we listen to; all combine, to produce the offering, that we have available, for presentation to ourselves (in our quiet and private moments of reflection), and to all to whom we desire to give of ourselves in our opinions, advice, counsel, and encouragement.

Please allow me to suggest that we all offer the very best of the very best when we 'pour out.’ Just as the quality of a cup of tea is a direct result of the care in brewing, and the ingredients introduced into the pot … we all have control over the kinds of emotions, sentiments, impulses, and considerations that we input into our innermost Self. So, if you will permit, I ask you to let these thoughts simmer … as you hum along with me that old “I’m a Little Teapot, short and stout … Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up, I just shout … ‘Tip Me over (for I have chosen to be yours for your sustenance … whenever and however you need 'Me'.) Pour Me (the best 'Me' that I can be ... all, of whatever 'Me' I was created to be) out'.” And I will pray that what ‘pours out’, will always be our Best. I promise to do all that I can, to encourage and lift you up in your efforts. I truly do love you ... don't you know?

9 comments:

Suza said...

What you "pour out," John-Michael, is revelatory and speaks to the beauty and ritual that is the tea ceremony... bringing friends together, sharing thoughts, encouraging discussion, and steeping in the comfort of your hospitality. Thank you.

John-Michael said...

WOW! I'm glad that I can be a "Little (6'2", 20 stone) Teapot," Suza, Dear. Thank you for allowing it to be so, for you!

Lovingly ...

Just Joni said...

Many, many...(ok, one was enough) years ago I proudly participated in my first ballet performance in front of my smiling mother and several other attending parents, and our dance revolved around this little song...we pointed our toes and twirled and with one hand on my hip and one pointing skyward I bent and poured...and felt that first promise of support from an amazing woman who hasn't stopped applauding my every whirl...thank you for that sweet, sweet memory...and YOU DO pour out the best and I am so pleased to partake in your thoughtful considerations of encouraging and lifting...love to you JM.

John-Michael said...

For each drop that I am able to pour out to you, My Dearest Joni, your Spirit always replenishes tenfold. You bless Me.

Lovingly ...
(And Thank You for the lovely image of You performing the same little dance that I recall performing in grade school. Lovely!

lime said...

what a wonderful meditation on something i needed reminding of.

although i know it was not the main point (but it doevetails) i am struck by the gift your friends gave and why. the recognized you had poured out your best and gave a gift that would only enhance your own giving. so lovely, so thoughtful, so kind from you, from them, and the circle continues....

Suldog said...

Thanks, John-Michael. Me, too.

John-Michael said...

And you, My Darling Lime, make that 'Circle' ever-more fun and blessed to be a part of. I thank You for your generous inclusion of Me in your personal life-circle.

I like this love that we share ...

John-Michael said...

An afternoon Tea with you, My SulDog Friend, will be one of my best of life's gifts enjoyed. I smile at the prospect!

Love Ya, Jim ...

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