Tea and dissidence

downtown clock

She sits across the table from me, stirring a small teaspoon of artificial sweetener in her orange pekoe.

I squeeze a dollop of agave nectar into my red rooibos, letting it melt into the hot liquid.

We savor the heady aroma of our brews, silent but still communicating in a way only a parent and child can.

The mistake was mine. I will never learn to not rise to her bait. It isn’t difficult to see that our world view is vastly different. She walks a narrow path, never looking up to see that the landscape has changed. I stumble sometimes on my journey, tripping over ancient roots that run deep.

This was one too many times she gave her opinion, shrouded in incomprehension, that I couldn’t disregard. Offensive in its ignorance, it demanded a response.

A topic we typically avoid, I thought she knew how I felt, but I don’t usually voice my beliefs to her. It’s a subject best left alone because we are so diametrically opposed. I can’t change her mind, and she has no chance of changing mine. There is no middle ground.

It’s a sore point we don’t need to poke.

She is from a generation that lives in black and white. This way is right, that way is wrong. I live in a time colored in all the hues of a rainbow, and open roads in all directions of a compass rose.

She may only be a few feet away, but we are light years apart.

Inspired by “Time is the longest distance between two places.” ~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

10 thoughts on “Tea and dissidence

  1. Wow. I liked this one and it surprised me. I think the speaker was the child, but when I first started reading it, I felt the speaker was the mother. I think this is because of my age and my identification with being a mother, more than a daughter. With my own two daughters, who are both grown, there have difficult times, but oddly I’ve found as we all get older, this seems to not be the case. It’s like what used to black and white, softens in a more pastel color. I wasn’t fortunate enough to reach this point with my mom as she died when I was younger.

    Separate from my own history, this writing was well done. I read it out loud and it sounds more like a person reflecting. I only struggled with rooibos…as I don’t know that tea?? Anyway, I enjoyed this reflection story. Thank you for sharing it:~) Sara, A Sharing Connection.


    1. I had the same experience of initially thinking the speaker was the mother but as I got further in it started feeling like it was the child’s story. I really like the piece though. It reminds me of my own relationship with my mother in a way.


  2. Wonderfully written. The details just jumped out at me. I pictured the two women sitting there. Strangely enough it looked like my mom and me.


  3. Ouch. This hit me in the gut. My mom and I have had these moments the last few years. (I consider it a testament to the way she raised me that I am comfortable voicing my opinion. She may not 😉 ) Beautifully done!


  4. “Diametrically opposed” is one of my favorite phrases, both literally and figuratively. You did this conversation justice by portraying the opposition every step of the way. The last line sums it all up nicely: “She may only be a few feet away, but we are light years apart.” Well done Tara.


  5. Oh, wow. This was so relevant and real. The relationship of mothers and daughters is a layered landscape, but you add politics, religion, faith, pop culture and you get a melting pot overflowing with opinions.

    In its simple language you captured the topography of that relationship and journey.


    1. I’m so glad it came across like I intended. I intentional didn’t address a specific topic, leaving it to the reader to insert their parental own “off-limits” discussions. For my mother and me, it pretty much covers everything except the weather. HA!


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