My flatmate had been studying Tea Ceremony for 10 years. I went with her to one of her lessons. On the way, we visited a tea ceremony shop, where she needed to purchase something essential to her learning.
I was put well in my place by the shop owner. I observed the beauty of a drinking bowl and commented on it. He rolled his eyes and made it very plain I could not possibly know what I was talking about, as here, in his right hand, was a supreme example–smooth, delicate, pristine. The earthy irregularities of the heavier bowl I had found attractive. I saw and appreciated the qualities of both, but it was quite clear I was not even allowed to know. It was quite good, with my very limited capacity to speak Japanese, to be forced to not argue, but just observe.
The tea ceremony itself, however, was a very particular experience.
Zsuzsi Soboslay has a practice in writing, theater, dance, and community cultural development. She specialises in collaborative work across disciplines and has a special interest in the stories of immigrants and refugees, as well as experience of place.
She has received numerous awards and residences, initiates collaborations with musicians and visual artists, and has a special ability to bring out the best in people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
She was recipient of the ACT Multicultural Award for Outstanding Excellence in the area of ‘Creative Services and Experiences for the Community through Art, Media or Culture,’ 2018.