On October 7th 2017 I had the opportunity to serve a simple Tea at “Island in the Sky” district of Canyonlands National Park located in Southern Utah. It was a gathering of only one guest and myself. It was unique in that the kakejiku scroll was the view before us and the tokonoma alcove was quite immense. It took 15 million years for nature to create the ‘scroll’ and the span that was shown in the rocks that were exposed went back 300 million years into the past. Looking down on the ‘White Rim over-look’ one could see the layers of time and the spectacular monuments that had been made by erosion. It was a sunny day that was clear and brisk to enjoy tea.
Ryaku-bon Temae seemed to suit the occasion and the sweets were small ‘Jaw breakers’ candies nestled inside of a metal hip flask. The Chawan was a Gohon Mishima style bowl that had very similar colors to the red rock that we were seated on. The Chaki tea container was a hand made piece by a tribal member of the Hopi Nation. His name is Johnny Martin whose name is also “Ma-kai-Ya”. The lid was woven by hand. The Tea scoop was a gift of Kishimoto Sokei Sensei and made of black persimmon. Its poetic name is “Looking Forward”. The ‘scroll was looking into the deep past, Tea was happening now, and we both look forward to enjoying the future in Tea. The Kensui bowl was a gift from Sauki Sensei. It is a Chrysanthemum bowl made of brass. The Fukusa purifying cloth was made from a fresh cowboy bandanna scarf. The blanket set out was an old woolen Shepard’s blanket that had been made into a poncho. The furo is an old Korean pickling pot for Kim-chi and the Tetsu-bin Kettle is an old piece with a small Fu-Dog knob and a cracked lid that lets the steam out. It was never quite vertical but then who is. The Ita board was a slice of pine.by