Sparking My Own Evolution

One word at a time...


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The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars... *************************************** -Jack Kerouac ***************************************


JANUARY 14, 2010 3:00AM

Teapot Karma

Rate: 66 Flag

Once upon a time, in American suburbia, there was a little girl who grew up with two parents who were sociopaths.  She did not know they were sociopaths at the time, nor that her brother would become one too, but she learned very early on different life skills than other children in order to survive the daily devastation of violence and abuse.

What most confused this little girl was there were also moments of normalcy mixed in with utter chaos.  As soon as she would relax for a moment, and begin to relinquish her hold on terror, the moment of enjoyment would soon be replaced by a juggernaut of excruciating abuse. Her brain had to work overtime to protect her from it; she floated through life as if unfettered by much but not holding on to closely to anything either.

One day, at the age of six, she found some boxes stored in her secret hiding spot up in the attic.  As she peeled them open, she stared in amazement at the beautiful, ornate teapots that gleamed shiny once she wiped the dust off with the hem of her shirt.  They were fragile, she could tell, so she was sure to be very careful with them.  There was a square green one with a bent, silver metal handle, a white one with light pink flowers which had a bulbous pot with the handle on the side, and another darker green one which was the color of her house plants with a wicker  handle reaching over the top where the water was poured in.  She piled them back into the box carefully and tucked the memory just out of sight.


When her parents were dividing up their belongings, as the inevitable divorce finally arrived, her body flitted around the edge of the living room looking at all of the teapots finally removed from their boxes.  There were thirty-one in all.  Twenty-seven were in perfect repair.  She loved these teapots like nothing else in her home, and she wasn't one to become attached to things.  However, they held a type of familiarity, a kindness of times that were softer?  But, this was strange, as there was no gentleness to speak of in her memory.

Her mother came in with masking tape and told her to mark anything she wanted for herself after she had died.  She hated her mother.  There was nothing she wanted from her - except those teapots.  Pride got the best of her and she left the pen and masking tape on the shelf and walked out of the room.  She never saw the teapots again.


As a young adult, she sat with a woman who wanted her to share her memories and feelings.  This felt pointless - as it all felt and looked the same to her.  Numb.  As they sat sipping tea, the girl would gaze off as if she lived in another world no one really was allowed to access.  This woman tried, but the girl just smiled and coldly denied her.  On purpose.

Then, as if a zipper had ripped open the back of her head, a flood of raw memories and feelings flooded the girl to a point where she could not move, see, speak, stand, pee, or eat.  Her defenses were swallowed up in one moment's time.  This was the girl's passage into womanhood.  She still pined after those teapots though.


While the years wore on, she reclaimed herself inch by inch.  The struggle was arduous, the journey long, and the hills were steep.  There were not many breaks.  She wanted to quit many times.  For everything that was stolen, she now began to gain measures of confidence, self-esteem, love, and joy.  Her physical abilities came back slowly, one by one.  While friends fell away and relationships were hard to maintain, she stuck to her truth; this was central to keeping her own budding family together.

At one point, the woman who held her hand through all this, watched as she viewed a few scenes from a life that had already passed.  There were lingering memories of karma that needed to be addressed so she could move forward without interruption.  She saw herself holding the hands of many people from around the world in a healing embrace.  In exchange for payment, they would present her with the gift of a teapot.  Instantly, she recognized the teapots.  These were the teapots from her attic, the ones she vowed not to show any emotion over, the only coveted possession of her childhood she had denied herself.  Tears of relief flowed freely.  She understood herself at a level that was unimaginably healing.  She was free.


All grown up, she ran around addressing the details for her best friend's wedding this past summer.  Since she is a very private person, her spiritual nature and the haunting of her past are only known by a few, including this friend.   The day before the wedding, she was awash in Gerber daisies and roses trying to put forty centerpieces together; her hands were full!  The bride arrived at her home to bring flower reinforcements.  Upon her arrival, she offered her friend a cup of tea.

As they sat on the sun deck discussing the excitement of the next day, what each of their respective daughter's were going to wear, and how to deal with the assertive mother issue, the bride presented her with a luxuriously wrapped ‘thank you’ gift.  Without hesitation, she began peeling away the layers of ribbon to get at the treasure inside...




And, she lived happily ever after, because I know she will.

The End.

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I cannot put into words what you have done here . . . a thread of memory (teapot karma, indeed), a life story (compressed, fable-like), and a happy ending (all but unexpected).

I love this line: "She piled them back into the box carefully and tucked the memory just out of sight."

So evocative. Excellent work, Sparking.
Life as a tea pot. Love the metaphor. Daily anguish and joy pouring out of the same spout, and salvation is a warm infusion of some leaves harvested where the sun rises first before it reaches any of our much-labored shores. A great read to start my day. Rated
Owl! - Thank you, you humble me.

Byron - so happy to see you here. Yes, anguish and joy can pour from the same spout, and I for one am thankful they do. This teapot of life is never dull. Blessings to you!
Sparking, I am at a lost for words, and as you know, It doesn't happen often. I'm glad you are burying the past and grabbing on to a new life. You my friend are a great person, and I hope the rest of your life is nothing but happiness!
I could say here that I'm speechless but it seems like I can always say...something. But is it what I feel deep down? Not always, as right now. So, I'll just say..
I love teapots. You can make a cup of tea by tossing a teabag in a cup of water heated in the microwave and drink it on the run. Or you can fill the teapot with hot water while the tea kettle is bringing your water to a boil and then patiently wait and chat while the tea steeps because the teapot holds enough for 2 or 3 and just cries out for a good friend or companion. To me a teapot says, "Please, sit down and share yourself with me and I'll give you some of myself and we'll make a memory."
Thank you, dear Sparking. I know she will too.
Marvelous! I've read only the first comment, Owl's, and I don't want to read any more, as I want to keep the magic of your story alive awhile longer. Owl's response is what I hope I would have written had I not seen Owl's.
What an elegantly constructed memory. And a happy ending, no less. This was incredible.
I agree with Owl. How silly it will seem to try and find proper words. Byron's picking up on the teapot metaphor made a Teapot - forever memorable.

What is 'stuffed' within and ignored (memories of pain) ... war and whatever .... war is not just military conscription. Strife and homesites, inner city streets, office places (not just bloody battlefield) ...,a hell here.

"war" can be anywhere.

but, You wrote a real-powerful:`
You painted a sad war-memory.
thanks. It's out, not repressed.
a tiny metal fragment to head.
GI die.
You wrote:`

"zipper ripped out the back of her head" (flashback-sigh) AK- 47.

wow. Everything will percolate forth. Memories can't be repressed, denied, and hushed (stuffed down inside) up. Trauma demands to be dealt with, reframed, and talked about. Speak of inner anguish with some One who is nonjudgemental. What is concealed will be revealed.
and it's best to allow the tea water to simmer naturally with private self-reflection. No forget pot.
I mean no blog and burn pot.
You may burn the outhouse.
Speak about our childhoods.
Parents can berate and injure.
Verbal putdowns really harm us.
on and on. Thanks for reframing this.
I believe each time we share it's a bit clearer.
Many people are terribly harmed as children.
My Life was "ideal" as a boondocks hillbilly, but-
Blown away.

Your child memories.
Share skillfully. You do.
You tell in proper context.
Share to help fellow humans.
If we don't return to `memory-
The issue may implode`burst open.
teapot tisane - sipping tea with someone heals.
sip calmly.
I can't deny it. I want to ask? Have you ever used a teapot Neti (spelling)? It's a nasal teapot. You know, a herbal salt solution is warmed in the pot. Then, you pour the lukewarm water through one nasal-nostril, h20,
flows in one nostril,
and out the other.
Ugh. no too gross,
no pour in ear, eye,
or belly button hole.
Use `Neti on noses.
You can No comets.
You can delete too.
back to cleanse nose.
Pour water in nasal,
so that water passes through the nasal cavity? In one nose hole, and out flows water through the other snout-hole? It's a nasal hygiene 'Neti' small "teapot."
Pollen is a booger.
The jagged irritant.
Pollen make sneezers.
Eyes look wild and puffy.
Try it. Share Ya's Neti pot.
I hope your nose don't get stuck in a small `Neti teapot. I hope it's sanitary to lend out your Nasal`Neti. If the nose gets stuck in public, it would be an adult utter chaos. You wrote the "brain works overtime" ...
that's something I'm sorta 'blown-away' about, and I believe will 'fit' into my theory ref`
turn horror into`Life.
Transcend past `Pain.
Let what was awful`Be.
I mean, apart of`alchemy.
Let's Be real with`Others.
Time. a compost`a Rose.
It takes cultivation`Time.
Please don't say~Got NO NETI!
I'll send you mine. I'll mail NETI!
I'll mail a book too. USE A NETI!
No get 'Neti teapot stuck on nose.
Oh, Sparking... that pot is full of warmth and wisdom and redemption of the human spirit. What a beautiful gift, both from her, and from you to those reading this.

"You shimmer and you glow."
Wow. Like Owl said, hard to put into words the way this story made me feel, but thank you so much for writing it.
I keep my grandmother's teapot in my cupboard. It's all I have of her. It's all I need.
I knew this would be special when I read the first sentence, which begins so innocently and ends with a kick.

You did not disappoint. This is a terrific piece of work, a life through important episodes brilliantly described. This is a tea ceremony: elegant, measured, full of meaning. You received a deserved gift at the end. You gave us a gift throughout.
Vivid and raw - wonderful post. I hate when my zipper gets opened at the worst possible time, in the worst possible place.
I love fables, and this one is lyrical, sad, intricate -- and the central idea of a teapot is engrossing. well-written, too.

Something we can warm ourselves with, again and again, a ritual without pain, a consumption that requires constraint -- sip, HOT, sip, sip. Shared or not, it is controllable time, a predictable good result. And when all is ready we hold the cup as if in prayer.
Great story of dealing with trauma to get to the self-discovery hidden beneath. I love that teapot, and obviously she's a very close friend to gift it you.
Here's to living happily ever after.
This is a lovely, eloquent tale. Thank you for this.
Another story that reads wit the beauty and simplicity of a fairy tale or allegory. And then ..."as if a zipper had ripped open the back of her head, a flood of raw memories" Powerful words.
Wow, I woke up to the blessing of all of you. Thank you.

scanner - thank you. I just take life as it comes, as I know you do to. Speaking of great - back at'chya!

Sharon - to be honest, I don't know what I felt after writing this. It is still settling. I can say it was healing for its simplicity. So, when in doubt - discuss tea! I love how you describe it, I can see someone who appreciates it as much as I do for all it creates. It's been a friend in my life for sure.

ClarkK - Oh, I am delighted you found some magic here. I love the magic. It is the essence of life if you ask me.

Joan H. - Wow, truly thoughtful of you to say. Thank you.
I think if we could, we would all send you a teapot.
Your teapots are pearls linked to form a circle -- of life. The teapots, most unbroken by time and changing hands, surviving in their beauty - both fragile and strong. Like you. You are moving. r
Beautifully written and observed piece. Brava.
Love is so often delivered in the most humble of vehicles.
I have admiration for this girl. She has risen phoenix like from the ashes of her childhood and grown immeasurably.
Thank you for a wonderfully rendered photo album of a life engaged.
My dear friend Art James,

You move my heart to a point of tears. Tears of healing and joy and friendship. I know you understand as it flows out of you with such humanity in everything you touch. And, you always make me smile. I love you from one soul friend to another.

P.S. Thankfully, yes, I have a netti pot! ;)
What a marvelous piece of writing. You've evoked so many wonderful emotions with your words. This is a lovely example of the power of distilled thought from meditatively pondering a subject. Thank you.
Rated and appreciated.
Such good work, yes.
This is a magical story. You write with such eloquence and yet, with such raw honesty. The two would seem at odds with each other, but you somehow manage to merge them and the result is simply magical. You are amazing.
I love that I feel this incredible amount of emotion from your piece that is written in a very straight forward way - not a whisper of self pity - just strength. Wonderful, wonderful. And the happy ending - gravy.
Only the best to you in your future journey. r
C.K. - Awe, my friend, you are so kind.

mamoore - thank you so much for reading and sharing it with me. I'm honored.

fingerlakeswanderer - what a treasure to have from your grandmother; a gift to share with others over and over again.

AtHomePilgrim - Words fail me to know this is how it is received. I enjoy the gentle ceremony of tea - the selection, the steeping, the chatter over selecting the "just right" adjustments, and the enduring spirit of sip, rest, speak, sip, repeat. Thank you.

Akopsa - I can relate!

Cat - Oh, you had a British mom? That seems so fitting some how - I just want to say, "of course." Yes, the tea pot is indeed universal, a is love, which is what your words feel like now.
Then, as if a zipper had ripped open the back of her head

That had to come before the healing. Tea is healing. Sharing it is healing. Friendship is healing. I am priviledged to call you a friend and also lucky enough to actually be able to share of cup of tea with you. Absolutely gorgeous writing.
That is such a lovely post. I haven't the words to say. Thanks for sharing that with us.
Isn't tea, and the pots it comes in, such a pleasure! A gentle pleasure, and healing, espcially when it is poured from a package so pretty?! Happily ever after to you!
Quite beautiful, Sparking. I don't know how anyone could have picked a more perfect teapot for you.
This is quite a journey Sparking. I'm glad that "For everything that was stolen, she now began to gain measures of confidence, self-esteem, love, and joy." Teapot Karma is the perfect title for the process, and here's to "she lived happily ever after, because I know she will."
I am stunned, but in a good way I think. Powerful, wonderful writing. You have power too and it includes healing.

You are a fantastic writer. You are a fantastic person. Do and live.
I foresee a large collection of tea pots in your future. What a shame it is that we use those little bags and brew our tea in cups.

I have somewhere a beautiful cast iron tea pot, Japanese. I live near the Morikami Museum where they recently had an exhibition of approximately 40 antique Japanese teapots and kettles. I loved every one, even the ones I didn't like.

Growing sick from the news from Haiti, I need this antidote.

Thanks. I needed that.
Absolutely stunning. Just not enough words for this...I'm in awe. Big hugs...
How lovely to come back and still find you all here. Precious.

Julie - can I just call you Julie? I get all those vowels mixed up. That was so kind. I cried. You all have kept me crying all morning, in such a grand, cathartic way. ::hug::

Oh, and I just LOVE the ones that are triple stackers! The one you chose is divine, with all the intricate flowers. Stunning.

Greg - your comment is pure eloquence. When you said, "a consumption that requires constraint" I knew I had stumbled upon a metaphor which was particularly telling of the process of healing my childhood and reclaiming my life. I can not thank you enough for that line. A prayer indeed.

Spotted - a very close friend she is. I love her like a sister, but when you never had a family, you can easily see the falseness in all the boundaries we create to divide up humanity. Cheers to "happily ever after!"

Dear reader I married him - thank you, that is 2-2 kind.

Scarlett - this is so kind of you to say. Appreciated.

reluctant muse - Oh gosh, that is so thoughtful. What a kind community this is. OS is a teapot of life!
Sometimes all we can do is remember how beautiful the teapots were, and hope that someday we may again have beautiful teapots.

Excellent piece, Sparking. Thanks.

Rated. Pass the scones, please.
a beautiful and haunting slice of life. rated.
a beautiful story, and a beautiful teapot
I know she will too.

I wish I had something more to say, but I'm at a loss for words here. Raw. Powerful. You're definitely on your way to happily ever after.
An amazing, wonderful, beautiful story. You are an amazing writer! I am always anxious to see what you will share with us next. Thanks for the gift of your writing.
Joan - my gorgeous friend, you are so wise. I could listen to you all day. Thank you for your generous words.

john - Wow! What a compliment - I thank you.

JLBane - "Love is so often delivered in the most humble of vehicles." What a wonderful truth that you have shared here. It is a pleasure making your acquaintance.

Dennis - thank you for always taking the time with your comments and helping me understand what you appreciated about a piece.

sophieh - wow - thanks so much!

neilpaul - great points. Yes, in a fable-like way, for a blog post, it did seem best to do a lot of telling, it just flowed better. But, if I do expand it, which I may, I will greatly consider your suggestions. I appreciate the time you took in giving them.

Unbreakable - well you already know how I feel about you! :) Thank you, I hoped the economy of words wouldn't be too jarring and am relieved that isn't the case.

Joe - I love you, too.

WalkAwayHappy - I take that hug and raise you one!

JK Brady - thanks so much, I am glad you enjoyed it.

1_Irritated_Mother - Oh, that thrills me that is how it was perceived, I always want to write from a place of healing. I'm glad the gravy was delicious!

Rita - Thank you, and the same to you!
This is such a beautiful story. Thank you so much.
Can't possibly add to the comments expressed here and the wonderful story. This is a tremendous piece and you are essential to everything you are. Just beautiful, older/exasperated *******R
(((Spark))) of course you can call me Julie. I'm so glad you liked it. I didn't know if it was appropriate at the time or overly familiar and was a little worried you'd find me a jerk for it- dunno why. I glad you liked it though, glad and relieved.
Trilogy - I assure you, the pleasure is all mine. You are such a fine friend and writer. Thank you.

Philip - Oh, you are so welcome. It is very nice2meetu. :)

JulieShanti - and to you!

Frank - I know, huh? She truly does know me. I have a collection of Chinese antiques throughout my home, and it was the perfect first to start my new collection.

nana - you are so dear. Every time I receive a comment from you it is as if you pluck out the most personal, the things which were hardest to say. Thank you for that.

susanlivingkinky - I apologize for the confusion - I'm glad I found you again. Thank you for coming by.

Natalie - my friend, you are such a wise soul. Do and live. Yes!

Sage - you are welcome; yes the news from Haiti is indeed dire. It has been pulling at the heart strings of us all.

I look forward to the day when we get to share a cup of tea together - I believe that may happen. :)

OM - Well, my dear, the feeling of awe is mutual (but you already knew that). I am thankful you enjoyed the words.

Stellaa - that is a high compliment coming from you. Thank you, I'm taking that ::in::

Bill S. - yes, the beauty lasts in the memory. And, I got to serve scones at skeletnwmn's today. She is such a sweet soul.

Caroline - the hauntings are still there some days, but it is mostly joy. I am glad the beauty came through, too. Thank you.

Roy - so glad you enjoyed the story and the teapot!

Julie - I think you said it quite well and I appreciate it greatly.

Dave - oh, wow, that is flattering. Thank you.

Gwendolyn - thank you for sharing it with me.

OE! - "and you are essential to everything that you are." Wow - that really sunk to my core - so direct and reflective of how important each of us are.

Julie! - Oh, no, not at all! I got so choked up and thought what a delightful person who understands the idea of tea and teapots and really must've sensed who I am by adding that. It was so surprising yet so welcome Julie. Actually, I would say it was healing in a very unexpected way. The universe is powerful - it shows the power of this medium and how wonderful the spirit of those who share space here. Thank you new friend!
yep. There is nothing so healing as a cup of tea with a friend. :)
yep. There is nothing so healing as a cup of tea with a friend. :)
This is just beautiful. And I saw the wonderful gift that Skeletnwmn and folks gave you. You deserve it.
Indeed, this is very special. Lovely beyond words, as you have spoken so weave this into patterns of spidery wistfullness from another place in time.
This is just beautiful, Sparking.
Masterful, rated.
sweetfeet - agreed! Here's to tea any old time of day!

Jill - how thoughtful. Yes, we all deserve it. What a powerful community we share here. Thank you new friend.

Just Cathy - Wow, your comments are so poetic. Thank you for such an artful compliment.

Thoth - thank you, so humbled, wow.
That ability to find beauty and guard it from the night, is what kept the little girl from becoming a sociopath too.
Don't I know it.
Thanks so much for sharing.
Had a little hospital thing happen, so I'm a tad late... I remember the first time I read you, I sensed magic... You've never disappointed, this little "Once upon" metaphor is spellbindingly marvelous! RRR
What a wonderfully told story. I can't help but wonder what is fiction and what is reality. I can see both intertwined in this post.
IslandView - what depth of insight you have. No, thank you.

Patrick - so thankful you found magic here. If there is one compliment in the world I accept as higher than all else, is someone sensing the magic. It's inexplicable. I don't think you can make that come out in your writing, it just comes through you. When it shows up, it is a gift. A gift I honor as divine as it is - from somewhere beyond.

Patricia - Oh, I am so happy you enjoyed it. It is fun to wonder, yes? The Creative Non-fiction genre is beautiful that way; foundational to the truth, yet creative in essence to ensure the story can flow. It is the genre I feel I do my best writing in, yet.
This memory was beautifully told.
you are one of the most compelling writers on OS. this was delicate, powerful and exquisitely haunting.