One Cup at a Time.pdf - One Cup at a Time JESSICA SAYURI...

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Unformatted text preview: One Cup at a Time JESSICA SAYURI BOISSY Whéfl‘fi Wsar‘fix‘. MNQ/m WRITER? COMMENT: Growing up hilingual and mixed race. I have heart ache/l countless times to trans— late a specific word or phrase in either japanese or English and felt speechless, finding no equivalent to the pure meaning. When asleed in my U WP 18 class to write of such a tanguage—harrier incident, the phrase "ichigo ichie” immediately surficed. I have had countless encounters throughout my life, ranging fi‘om a chance meeting of a couple seconds to months and years apnea/ans. But dewite the length of my encounters, they have alwayt {teen interconnecte with departures. from the goodbyes 1 said to my classmates in japan to the hellos I mouthed to the people I have met in America. "ichigo ichie” has always comforted me in times of change. This phrase has taught me to cherish each encounter, fir ‘Tchigo Ichie” literally . . 7 - - f translates to "One em'ounten one chance” meaning every encounter unit} I I I' l' someone. even aflimn’ tit-hum yon see anion: shown he treatea as ilsflit were a once-inua—lifetime occurrence. It truly emhodies how delicate and fragile 19% is, for every encounter and departure is a chance occurrence fir this time only, never again to he repeated—one chance in a lifetime. —]essica Sayuri Boissy INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENT: Perhaps the surest indication that this essay deserves its distinction as a piece of Prizcd Writing is that it was a pleasure to return to. It serves as a halm to a. stresg‘ul day and reminds me that this moment is diflErentfiom the first reading and that this is a moment I hope to return to anew. lessica wrote this essav in response to an assignment that asked students to think ahout one word or phrase in particular: One ofthepossihle ways of responding was to think through afiirezgn word with no English equivalent. The heauzy of jessicas essay was immediately apparent, as it commented on hoth the word and its cultural sigmfiers and integrated the Zen spirit of the phrase into the style of'writing itself Yhe piece accurately portrays jessica ma.— 4 .....-LL" at..‘..-t...t.. t :-a:- -.. .. I r. LJJ L. t ...... I.-.” L- herseg—orsuttgvytfl, atrium, geriatric). 1 ”up: or) yum first: emu“ new, tutti Prized Writing 2006—2007 although "the water in the kettle eventually hails, ” we should not tat/2e any thing or any momentfiwgmnted —Greg Miller, University Writing Program 0 T CHIGO [CI-[IE CONVEYS AJAPANESE AESTHETIC ideal relating to transience that, when translated into English, literally signifies “One Encounter, One Chance.” The philosophy behind it is that one should always do one’s best when meeting someone, treasuring each encounter as a once in-a~lifetime event, even if it is a {fiend Wham oneness often. For I I me, this phrase has brought aware- / ness of the value of living each day, hour, minute, and second to the fullest and seizing each chance \ encounter that life unexpectedly brings. Though the ritual of meet— ing people follows a regular rou— tine, this phrase stresses that each moment is a marine meeting to be lived intently, never to be repeated, as if today were the last time you might meet—in other words, this phrase teaches one to live his/her wholelifi: now—the fullest in the moment. Unlike the English alphabet, the Japanese writing system is composed offiny‘i, Charactetstlnt embody the meanings in graphic forms. Although Ichzgo [this can be written with the English alphabet, in Japanese, the phrase is written as “El—’52, giving a more visual representation of the meaning. The first part of the word, ichigo or —‘ E5, symbolizes one period, in the {m5 of ic/I‘ga Fchie one lifetime. \ is 10 fin ferried Sayurz' Baits]; 9 One Cup an: Time The second part, ic/aie or “é, symbolizes one meeting. Thus, when put together the phrasaic/tho icfiie is Formed, a phrase that easily rolls use of my mouth. Each character has three syllables, and the ic/az', signifying the number one, at the beginning of each character gives a particular ring to the phrase, a consisrency if not an echo—stressing the importance of only “0122 meeting” in our “one lifetime.” Aka, hearse the meaning of ic/rigo Eelrie can be comprehended visually, nothing impinges on one’s understanding. It is as though no interpretation is needed because the visual representation of the charac- ters gives the reader the feeling of the word through the characters. Thus, the reader can be the sole interpreter of what ic/yiqo ic/yz'e means to him or her. However, the simplicity of meaning shatters when translated into English. Instead, the English language suggests a blizzard of wordy interpretations, such as “with every departure there is an encounter” or “one chance in a lifeti mé‘ or Weasnre. every meeting liar it will never reoccur”—phrases that sound nice but still cannot communicate the simplicity and wholeness of the original phrase. Phrases and words can be translated into many different languages, but the culture still plays a significant role in understanding not just the literal meaning but also the roots of words. The English equivalents lack the Zen spirit that permeates this phrase. Much like the Zen teachings, ic/aigo ic/aic teaches the importance of living in the present moment. In fact, this Zen thinking lies at the heart of chads, the Japanese 1&3 may. By concentrating ea makingteainside a quiet bfifoom, participants in the Japanese tea ceremony can reach a calm state of mind and reflect on themselves, cultivating a serene and mindful attitude towards each ceremony and towards life outside the tearoom. This atti— tude demands the awareness that, although the steps of the ritual have not changed over the centuries, every time people come together over a bowl of tea, they create an original experience. In this context ic/Jigo ickie retains the meaning of “one encounter, one chance,” but also acquires another meaning—“one cup, one moment." In this context, ichie main- tains the meaning of ”one enewnief’ but nil/go becomes “medial! 4F tea.” It wasn’t until I attended my first tea ceremony in my first year of middle school that I actually experienced ickzgo ic/aie in its fullest sensory delight. I can remember slowly sliding the door to the tearoom and being 11 Prizea’ Writing 2006—2007 showered by an abundance of sensations . . . . . .fmm {htfiagmncea thesandis’klwaoal thmghfio‘tk dam-a? beneath the hot water ettle to the aroma of fieshly whisked green tea. . . . . . fiom the sound of water coming to a hail to the sound #sofi cotton socks gliding over tatamz’ . . . . . . firm) thchahafmg oft/J6 :‘yauétmm "pottery streahetl with ash glaze, to the small wooden lacquer-ware plates . . . . . . flow the visual beauty of the calligraphy hanging hm'a’e the flower arrangement and, ultimately flow the taste of sweet heart cahes to theflavor aféifltrgmizs- - - In that moment, this mixing of sensory impressions—whereas in everyday life one at a time will do—helps to create the feeling of ichigo ichie. Although incense smoke always rises and the water in the kettle eventually heals, the combinatfiiuo 0? We, Estes, smells, teatime; and visual pleasures of the day’s tea ceremony will never be reproduced exactly that way again. This reflection brings to mind another aspect of the phySical nature of the tea ceremony—the interrelationship of three basic elements: monosahi, fitmmaz', and chashitsa, or things, behavior, and setting. ’i'ne tea ceremony that i experienced on that day when i was twelve will never be relived in a tea ceremony when I am eighteen. And the same philosophy can be applied to each day we experience in a lifetime—one should always do one’s best, whether it is making tea for anofiwcror shyly mafrgsgzwifla Glitterati/WWW; «ch amount-er *as a once—in-a-lifetime event. Even before you knew the phrase Ichzgo Ithz’e, you were living this word in your life, because life is about the coming and going—about the changes. These changes can take on many forms: our first tea ceremony, mgn schooi graduation, 21" birthday, or recemng our i’nfit). And even if we meet each other in class every Tuesday and 'Ihursday, I am not the same student and you are not the same teacher, because we are all participants in this inevitable change. But it is through these changes Wit/lye (We messesfie importance of mating Each amour-dado: a once—in—a—lifetime event and focusing on the details of each occasion, the particular people and things involved daily. In other words, living hilly in the present—ichz'go ichz'e—drinking life, and tea, to its fullest—one cup at a time. 12 ...
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  • Fall '08
  • Salazar
  • Meaning of life, Japanese tea ceremony, JESSICA SAYURI BOISSY, first tea ceremony

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