Readrrr, do you have a tabernacle? I do. If you have one, now’s the time to take it out of the closet, dust it off, polish it meticulously for thirty hours, and display it, loud and proud — ceremonially, ceremoniously, and sanctimoniously, on any old nearby ped-s-tall.
Why? Because it’s TEA TUESDAY, or Teasday, that’s why! It is a Roman Nunorthodox mandatory holiday and the day of the week the nuns devote solely and soul-fully to tea (followed by every other day of the week, except for the Sa-bbath, on which they bring their tea with them to church for Lor’ed-worship and Shakespeare recitations with the congregation after nun brunch).
But back to the tabernacular. The holy vernacular! The word is a lot of nun (fun, if fun were wearing a wimple!). Tabernacle. Doesn’t it sound like a place you want to hibernate? A treasure chest? Fishing tackle? It’s all those things and more, as I’ve learned. You and I like saying it. Good. (Al)Most Holy Readrrr, you should say it a lot, if it will bring you closer to di/vine, and it will.
I’ve been meaning to announce that I never stray far from my Oxford Dictionary of the Bible, so I have meta-access to ‘the tabernacular’ by way of my little nun crush on its hottie-mc-hottstuff author, little-known theologian and clergyman, W.R.F. Browning. Or, F. Brow, as I like to call him. B-row has done his research, is obsessed with words and themes, and wrote a dictionary. If there’s one thing that probationary nuns can’t resist, it’s dictionary-writers (in nun terms: dictionists). This makes him very appealing, but he also knows how to pull off a cape like Oscar Wilde, which makes me weak in the knees (rare, for a nun!). This dude has it all: the looks, the books, and the deep meanings. I turn to F. Brow whenever I am stumbling over a word, especially. But I always turn to F. Brow, because F. Brow gives me the hard core facts.
I never stumble over ‘tabernacle’, however, and that is because the tabernacular comes easily to me. F. Brow refers to the term ‘tabernacle’ as a “portable sanctuary.” Hearing that phrase from the Oxfordian lips of F. Brow was enough to get me high and make me mighty, but I ventured further and learned that a tabernacle consists of, not one but, TWO compartments. F. Brow bravely set his spectacles on Exodus (25: 8ff) in order to assert that the book provides directions for building the inner compartment (container of the ‘Holy of Holies,’ or ‘holder of the Ark’). F. Brow is not always the most clear in his articulations, as I begin to be overtaken by a most nunavoidable haze of confusion upon his multidirectional paraphrasality, but I was also able to glean that a tabernacle is referred to as ‘tent of meeting’, a transportable structure, operable by a single minister, that provides safe haven to “the divine presence” (shekhinah). So that explains how the nuns have been time-traveling all these years (oh, I had better shut my mouth before…)!
Oh, Readrrr. This is a lot to stomach, I know, but you are hungry for the Word, and if anyone can stomach divine presence, it surely is you! The main thing to know is that the nuns have a tabernacle.
They have a humble makeshift tabernacle, which they call a TEABERNACLE, and they use it to stow away their most precious treasures: the sacred body&blood of Christ, Oscar Wilde’s night cap, a Mary Cassatt painting depicting two sistrrrs, and tea.
Yes, tea. The nuns are so protective of their tea and tea is so beloved by the nuns that only the tabernacle will do when it comes to housing. And housing matters to the nuns; hence why they are immaculate when they conceive of their portable “dwelling places.” (Re-member: the port-able pour-tall keeps the Holy (Shake)spirit potable!)
The nuns care about giving their tea a good home, but they’re not so careful that they don’t enjoy it in the meantime. And that’s what this post is about. Bringing the nuns to new levels of joy, despite their afflictions.
Which brings me to the reason for the t(r)eason: the Word on the Shabby Abbey Road is that the tea-room-nuns will welcome their first tea-toter (visitor) to the Tabernacular Tea Room in the coming weeks, depending on the state of upcoming air travel.
Shhhh, Readrrr. The nuns don’t yet know it; it’s a surprise, so you cannot leak anything (to the tea press)– you must hold it in until the nuns and high quality tea are fie-nally reunited!
The tea nuns, or ‘fizzy lifters’ as I fancy calling them, have been tight-lipped with Lore’d Lipton in the tabernacle for a little too long, now, playing spin the saucer, and they need a change of pace. Or, maybe gravity (the Black Friday grim and grave version of Thanksgiving gravy).
Over the past two months, I have managed to collect loose change from the nunderside of the nuns’ habits. (Newsflash: it’s not just pennies from heaven that the nuns are shaking loose– apparently quarters come from heaven, too!) My shaking-down of the nuns has resulted in a number of episodes of Nuns Gone Wild, but I have kept to my occupation, and the result might fascinate you. If I may cut to the chaser, Lore’d somewhat-willing, I’ve managed to hold hostage a lot of divine metal in my tin can, amounting to a total of two dollars and twenty cents. Wow-wee, Readrrr, wow-wee!
I know what you’re thinking: a nun could vacation in Hawaii and get Don Ho to give her a tiny bubble bath for such an amount! I think so, too, but in the cold, cold real world of nunhood, I know my quarters from heaven might not cut it, so I have a backup plan. That would be where God comes in. My backup plan is to take out a loan in order to get the nuns their tea until Our Heavenly Fathrrr pays a visit to the Shabby Abbey and remits all our sistrrrly debts. That’ll be anytime now, Readrrr, anytime now…
Now that the matter of how the way I’m financing our extravagant little tea room has been addressed, it’s time to dish you the oxygenated glowworm-packed dirt on how I plan to tug the nuns from the tight lips of Lore’d Lipton.
Consider it done, Readrrr.
Utilizing my hefty coin purse (wherein resides the Lore’d’s Promised Land), I have spent every last coin to fly a very special first guest here: all the way from the UK! This “divine mystery person” is nun other than world-renowned herbal infusionist and wise owl extraordinaire: Steve Ellis.
Miss Stir Ellis hails feathery from the Mary Poppins District of foggy London. As a moonlighting tea owl, The Infusionist travels timelessly according to the The Clock of Neverlandia, never landing and always delivering high quality herbal tea that bursts with a love for the literary and all that jazz! Such an arrival is, to nunderstate, much awaited.
The nuns are going to wax hysteric when The Infusionist flies into their Tea Foyer bearing an array of aromatic gifts, setting loose the herbs, petals, seeds, and spices upon them. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but the nuns are in for a treat.
Sistrrr Grim will play the Host of Hosts, following in grim fashion Our Lore’d’s example (“Hospitality…or else!“), during this blessedly botanical visitation.
The winds are shifting and there’s loose leaf in the air. I have ordered every variety that Wise Owl Teas offers, and I will tell you what the nuns think, but would never say, about them, as your on-scene and obscene reporter, Sistrrr Grim.
Come again soon for heretical coverage of the nuns’ encounters with tea as part of the ongoing series, ‘Tales from The Teabernacle’, and: