the invitation of tea and womanhood…
She was a gentle teacher.
We did not share a language, so she took my hands in hers… But first we crawled through the small entrance, one after the other. Me, in my skirt. She, in her kimono. With sandals. And toe socks.
There were no others. I had walked the streets of Kyoto until Fukujuen opened its doors. I did not have the courage to call ahead to make reservations. (How does one pantomime on the phone?)
“4th floor,” I was told; so I stepped inside the glass elevator; hushing the women from the tea house novel who couldn’t believe that their ancient ceremony was taking place in a store.
I arrived at a classroom with a little house built inside, and within moments the woman in the kimono led me around a path to the special door where we carefully climbed inside.
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