One Time, One Meeting

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Have you ever heard of the Japanese concept “ichi-go ichi-e”? It means “one time, one meeting,” and captures the idea that each moment should be treasured because it will never come again. I think when you’re younger, such concepts don’t mean much to you, because you have a seemingly infinite series of moments stretching before you. As you get older, begin to experience loved ones passing from the scene, and become aware of your own mortality, you begin to realize how special each moment really is.

These days I feel sad to see so many people wasting their lives on anger, strife, and meaningless conflict, or working themselves to the bone for a lifestyle they don’t have time to enjoy. What moments have been the great moments of your life that you now treasure in your heart forever? Sometimes you’re aware of experiencing a great bucket list moment, like when we visited our ancestral home in Scotland last year. But what about the simple joys of sharing a great laugh with your loved ones over an ordinary weeknight dinner, or watching TV while cuddling with your loving, vulnerable pets? It’s worth remembering that each moment, no matter how humble, is indeed “once in a lifetime.”

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This is so cute. Which one do you like the best? I like “Miró.”

Everyone should do what they want, as naturally as breathing. —Joan Miró

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You all know how much I like to read about disasters. The White Cascade by Gary Krist is a great book about the 1910 avalanche disaster that overtook two trains in Washington State’s Cascade Mountains.  I learned a lot about the practice, culture, and history of railroading from this book. The railroad totally revolutionized American life a century ago, not unlike the way the Internet has revolutionized ours. But after the disaster, as Krist writes, “The tide of history was clearly running against the Victorian laissez-faire attitudes that had allowed the railroads and other trusts to gain such great influence and authority without any corresponding answerability.”

I couldn’t help but see the parallels with the big Internet companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook and the public hostility that has developed from their own abuses of the public trust. I wonder if we will see a repeat of the litigation, regulation, and governmental oversight that changed the railroad business back in the day, and if so how it will all unfold.

 

What a find! Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature, which suggests music you might like based on what you listen to, introduced me to the music of guitar virtuoso Ronnie Earl and I’m so glad. This is beautiful music, devoted to deep emotions and qualities like compassion, healing, gratitude, and love. I have ordered Ronnie’s three most recent albums and can’t wait to get to know his music. I’m the one who’s lucky!

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