Yogi’s “Bedtime” Tea

Today, hubby and his brother had a very exciting day.  Hubby took the day off and they went to the City.  It was warm: in the pictures hubby shows self afterwards, both of them have doffed their jackets.  Ocean Beach is surprisingly empty.  They went to the new California Academy of Sciences.  Hubby complained at the quite exorbitant entrance fee ($25).  In spite of that, it was crowded.  Brother-in-law was bursting with pride over the Philippine Coral Reef exhibit, which he says is the “jewel in the crown” of the whole edifice.  They went up to the roof, for self recognizes the green hillocks behind them in the photographs.  On the way home, they passed by Goldilocks and bought:  barbecued pork; siomai; pansit palabok; fresh lumpia. Hubby took home a souvenir: a visitor map of the Academy of Sciences. Since they had run out of English maps, the map hubby has says: Mapa para el visitante. Para ver a la rana de arbol de ojos rojos, visite la exposicion de Selvas Tropicales del Mundo.

In the meantime, self was in a tizzy, as usual, over an occurrence in one of her classes.  No, not the class where her students greet her each day by drawing smiley faces on the blackboard.  The other one, at xxxx community college, where last week a student very helpfully inquired, “Did you even read the book?”


Self considers herself lucky to have escaped alive from that class.

Somehow, brother-in-law knows that self has problems with falling asleep, for after dinner he tells self that he has just the thing for her:  Yogi’s “Bedtime” Tea.  In fact, after delivering himself of that sentence, he goes to his room, where he has a stash of tea bags, and fetches one for self.

Which immediately calls to mind the story self is currently reading for enjoyment (as opposed to reading for a class), Janset Berkok Shami’s “Coffee Time,” in New Letters, vol. 74, no. 3.  Here’s a sample passage:

Yes, my friend’s incessant chattering is sending me over hills and dales.  When I am on the hills, I cling to the good times of my life, when I am dragged down into the dales, I march heroically alongside my twenty-five year long married life.  One musn’t allow doubts to gnaw at one’s mind, I say to myself.  I even consider trying an experiment.  According to the teachings of yoga, if you concentrate long enough on a physical discomfort, it will dissolve and disappear.  But do I have the courage to go back to my past, to the source of my doubts?  If I pluck up the courage to do that, will it yield results?  Will it cancel the psychological discomfort I am experiencing?  Perhaps I’m already doing that experiment.  Perhaps that’s what brought me to Alice’s apartment.  Perhaps listening to her never-ending love affairs urges me to reflect on my deceased husband’s demands and my years of submission to those demands.  The retarded man left Alice.  He most probably erased her from his memory.  Can I do the same?  Can I wipe the sheet of my memory?

Bravo, oh talented Janset Berkok Shami, for pulling “it” off, it being a paragraph that is so sinewy, so full of unexpeced twists and turns, that self finds herself simply open-mouthed in admiration.  And now self has to stop reading and clear her brain, so that she can extract maximum pleasure from sipping her Yogi’s “Bedtime” tea.

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