A wicked cough has been nagging me for the past few days – I’ve been fighting off a full-fledged cold or flu, but it feels like I may be losing the battle. When I feel something like this coming on, I put a pot of water on the stove and slice up some fresh ginger, dropping it into the water and letting it steep for ten to fifteen minutes. The stringent ginger water is then strained into a cup with a bag of green tea in it. I swallow it all and pray for a speedy avoidance of illness. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – either way it’s a boon to my system, and a warm way to greet the night.
Along those lines, a poem by Wallace Stevens:
Tea at the Palaz of Hoon
Not less because in purple I descended
The western day through what you called
The loneliest air, not less was I myself.
What was the ointment sprinkled on my beard?
What were the hymns that buzzed beside my ears?
What was the sea whose tide swept through me there?
Out of my mind the golden ointment rained,
And my ears made the blowing hymns they heard.
I was myself the compass of that sea:
I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw
Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.