The Last Bite
- Category: Market Report
- Published: 22 December 2016
- Hits: 419
Where there is clutter, even valuable things lose their importance. Where there is too much, nothing really stands out.
The essence of the Japanese aesthetic “MA” (pronounced “maah”) — is a concept of the pure, and indeed essential, void or space between all things.
MA is the absence or emptiness that is full of possibilities. It brings a promise yet to be fulfilled.
As we close this year and look to the one ahead, clearing space for more meaningful things to exist goes beyond any one culture.
Taking a page from aspects in Japanese culture gives everyone a chance to pause in the hectic pace of daily life.
MA is apparent in Japanese living. Evidenced by architecture, garden design, music and cuisine, to flower arrangement (Ikebana), ceramics and poetry.
Far from being simply a philosophical or artistic concept, MA is ever-present in all aspects of Japanese living. Deliberate quiet actions have power.
When Japanese are taught to bow at an early age, they are told to make a deliberate pause at the end of the bow before they come back up — this gives enough MA in their bow for it to have meaning and show respect.
All great cultures in the history of civilization take care to serve a meal in a prescribed manner.
No matter how simple the food, we first eat with our eyes. Purposeful and with attention to detail, the art of meal preparation is like a meditation practice.
The presentation of the food, the utensils and dishware selected, the table setting should all be visually appealing. This is a universal thread.
In the way of Japanese tea events, guests are invited to rid themselves of the “dust of the world”. They are reminded throughout the service, that every human encounter is singular and will never come again.
To sit at a table deserves reflection and gratitude toward the many hands that grow, pick, pack, process, prepare and serve our foods.
Make room for new encounters in 2017. Show personal appreciation and respect. Cultivate ritual, mindful spaces and a sense of influence on our own well being.