In memory of Lou Hartman, 1915-2011.
Making a cup of tea, a proper cup involving loose Assam and a strainer and gently warmed milk, is a start. So you go to the kitchen and put the kettle on and pull down the old white pot with the bright flower decal on one side. You start to feel the comfort of your task, the purpose of it filling up some of the empty space that sadness has carved into your heart. There's a reason for ritual, you discover, as you pour in a little hot water to warm the pot and then encircle it with your chilled hands: the repetition, the body memory, the soothing rhythm of things happening in a certain order and with intention.