This week’s Kindred TeaTime interview is with Ryan Murdoch, Kindred chief consigliere and friend.

Name a book you loved as a kid. Is there a line or character you remember?

I absolutely loved a book called Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander. It was about this black cat with an ank on its chest. The cat took its owner – who was, of course, an adolescent boy – on a journey through different periods of time. Like back to Egypt, or to Ancient Rome. In fact, I now have an Egyptian ank tattoo and all because it became my favorite symbol as a result of this book.

What did you last read? Thumbs up or down?

It was an email and I give it a thumbs down!

In your next life you can be a lion, a tiger or a bear. Which do you choose and why?

It is very hard to not say Bear, because who doesn’t want to sleep for six months at a time or grab salmon right out of a river? But I choose Tiger. Why? They’re endangered and rare. Stripes are cool. My (pet) cats look like leopards. And big cats are just so fun and agile. Plus I’d enjoy living in a jungle setting. I could just lie around and sunbathe and occasionally be the predator. It’d be great to be a tiger. But being a bear would be runner up.

What is something you learned from a parent that turned out to be wise?

Whenever I made poor choices, my father would remind me that you can choose to be a leader or a follower. Sometimes the “not cool” choice is the right choice. It’s the leadership choice. The follower choice might be more fun but it’s usually not the right choice. I always used to have a smart aleck reply to this advice. I’d say, “If I choose to be a leader, then am I not following in the footsteps of those who lead?  And doesn’t that make me a follower?” He didn’t like that answer very much!

There’s a new interior paint color based on you and your life. What’s its name and why?

It is Indigo Child.  I like the concept of indigo children, and I always fantasized about having supernatural abilities. Indigo is a subjective shade in the sense that it can on the purple or on the blue spectrum – depending on who’s looking or deciding.  I like that there’s ambiguity there. It’s more fun.

What in the world gives you hope?

Literally, just waking up every day! Every day you wake up and it’s a new day. You get to be alive. You get to make choices and take actions. Maybe I’m taking it too literally, but every time a friend says they’re stressing out or worried about something, I say, “Okay. Today is February 5, 2021. What were you worried about on February 5, 2020?”  They can’t remember it. Right? This too shall pass!

It’s teatime. What’s your order?

My standard order would be an iced matcha green tea with almond milk and maybe some stevia. But for a special occasion, I really like Jasmine tea. I want it to be hot, in a full pot, and I would be sitting with friends and I can have as many cups as I want. I really like Jasmine pearl tea because it’s fun when they steep and open up like flowers.

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