Jun 4, 2007

Wonderful Gift

As a final note to the tea gathering last week, one of my guests at brought a bottle of fine sake to the gathering as a gift. Yesterday, he called me up and said that he had forgotten to bring something with him. He is a calligrapher and as a gift he brought me three shikishi (poem cards) that he had written in kanji himself. You can see the photos of them here.

The first one says: ichigo ichie. It has been translated as one lifetime, one meeting. This is a famous saying for tea and is often hung in the alcove for tea gatherings. One lifetime, one meeting is a way of saying that now is the moment. This meeting is a once in a lifetime encounter, so be here now to make the most of it because this meeting will never happen the same way again, it can never be recaptured. There may be the same people, but the circumstances will have changed. Often when we spend time with someone, we are doing other things rather than being with that person. We talk on our cell phones or think about what we have to do, or make lists in our head. Even if we are talking with the other person, they can tell when we don't have our mind on the conversation. Ichigo ichie reminds us to be present with people.

The second shikishi reads, kanza matsukaze o kiku. Translated it says, sit quietly and listen to the wind in the pine trees.

The third shikishi says, rika isshi no haru. Translation: in spring, flowers bloom (silently) on a bough of the pear tree.

All three of these shikishi are appropriate to hang in the tea room for tea gatherings.

I am so excited by these gifts, and I will be sure to invite him back for another tea gathering. Perhaps I will hang one of these shikishi in the alcove to surprise him.

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