Before we left, some dear friends of ours gave us a going away gift in the form of a magazine called kinfolk. It is a fairly new and hippish magazine themed toward recipes and lifestyle, but interestingly enough the latest edition happened to be exclusively geared to discovering Japan. One of the many insightful articles included common Japanese words to live by. One of the phrases, Ichi-go Ichi-e (literally one life, one party/meaning/gathering/chance) stood out in particular. Hitomi Thompson continues, “It’s a word from tea ceremony that reminds us to treasure each moment, because everything just happens once in life. This gathering will never happen in the same way again.”
This was an interesting adaptation of a familiar concept. ”Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” Contrary to a ‘you only live once’ mentality that shuns consequences and wisdom, a sober understanding of our finite time here allows us to cherish each party/meaning/gathering/chance, while still giving pause to praise the Creator instead of creation.
We thought these concepts to be a fitting introduction to our attempt to savor and document our time here for the next three years. This will primarily be written to those that we left 15 hours behind as a way to still be with us. We miss you and love you.