It was a day of firsts….
My first time performing tea ceremony.
My first time wearing a kimono.
My first time being asked for an autograph.
My first time having insanely large camera lenses in my face!
The morning of the performance I was a nervous wreck. Would I mess up? Would I be able to walk in zori shoes? Would I remember the Japanese phrases, or mash them all together like I’d been doing throughout the week? Deep breath in, exhale…
An experienced fellow tea student told us that many Japanese don’t fully know the intricacies of tea ceremony. So while we aim for perfection, slight mess-ups probably would go unnoticed. Whew!
Throw in the wind that kept toppling our chasaku (tea scoop), the addition of a stand to hold up the chasen (tea whisk) and all those other “X” factors, we learned to just give into the moment and enjoy the experience.
In the end, we were thanked by many for serving them tea, learning an ancient Japanese art, explaining tea ceremony procedure to them, and allowing them to photograph us.
It was a beautiful day and I can’t wait for my next performance.