Connecting Tom Robbins and Botswana Red Tea

The audio CD I listened to on my way back and forth to Boston last week was Tom Robbins’ Villa Incognito. I tend not to read too many male writers, but Tom Robbins and Terry Pratchett are the ones I read when I need perspective — the kind of combined comic/ cosmic view of life that is more humanly true than any factual narrative. Robbins, in particular, connects the dots of disparate (human and non-) lives in the same way that my mind tends to — although without his playful literary talents.
Like, just before starting the Robbins’ CD, I had been listening to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, which is located in Botswana. (Actually Betsy Devine gave me a copy of that book last year; I started it and then got sidetracked. So, instead, I decided to listen to it on a CD from my public library as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep.)
In that novel, the main character talks about how much she loves Botswana Blossom Red Tea (which I’d never heard of). When I get to my daugher’s house, tired of driving and ready for a cup of tea, lo’ and behold doesn’t she have a tin of Botswana Blossom Red Tea on her shelf. That’s the kind of dot-connecting coincidence that makes me smile and feel that all’s right with my world. For me, it becomes more than a coincidence; it becomes a synchronicity.
Interspersed all through Villa Incognito are stanzas of a poem. I wish I had a hard copy of the book, because I would love to copy down the whole thing. From here, I found the last part of it:
Just because you’re naked
doesn’t mean you’re sexy.
Just because you’re cynical
doesn’t mean you’re cool.
You may tell the greatest lies
and wear a brilliant disguise
but you can’t escape the eyes
of the one who sees right through you.
In the end what will prevail
is your passion, not your tale,
for love is the Holy Grail,
even in Cognito.
So better listen to me sister,
and pay close attention, mister:
It’s very good to play the game,
amuse the gods, avoid the pain.
But don’t trust fortune; don’t trust fame.
Your real self doesn’t know your name,
and in that we’re all the same.
We’re all incognito

This piece on Villa Incognito from here says it all:
Observe: the first sentence of Villa reads,

2 thoughts on “Connecting Tom Robbins and Botswana Red Tea

  1. Oh, I love it:
    “Just because you’re naked
    doesn’t mean you’re sexy.
    Just because you’re cynical
    doesn’t mean you’re cool.”
    I wish I could write it in my ex-boyfriend’s heart!!!
    Nancy

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