Hello all

You know how people forward on emails with graphics that are funny or inspirational? Well, this one sent by a friend takes the cake and it is really worth sharing with you.

The pictures are of coffee art which a Japanese man, Kazuki Yamamoto has perfected. He has been working for six years at a coffee shop in Osaka, Japan where he’s racked up more than 100,000 Twitter followers obsessed with his latte art. He has a Facebook page also if you want to check it out: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.484810938258646.1073741866.208949025844840&type=3

Here is what one website said about him:

 “Japanese latte artist Kazuki Yamamoto has taken coffee art to an impressive new level. While latte artists around the world are drawing oohs and ahs from their flat images on foam, this 26-year-old specializes in building actual 3D foam sculptures. Some of the latest temporary masterpieces swirled out of Yamamoto’s cup include a detailed giraffe, a three-eyed alien and a Hello Kitty character peeking out of a mug.

Currently, Kazuki Yamamoto is working as a barista in Cafe10g in Osaka, but the guy dreams of opening his own cafe in Tokyo one day. To keep up with Yamamoto’s creations, check out his Twitter stream.” Taken from: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/05/kazuki-yamamotos-incredible-3d-coffee.html

And Yamamoto is fast too. The coffee doesn’t get cold while he does his art apparently. My email informed me “he must work quickly to satisfy customer’s desires … he claims he completes each work of art in under four minutes, so the coffee is still hot when he serves it.”

I don’t think this would work for me however, as I am known to ask for a “Flat White Extra Hot” because I want it to almost scald my tongue when I drink it dear friends. He would have to be quick to satisfy my desire for all things hot. And don’t ask me how I drink coffee so hot either … because I just can … and I do … repeatedly. Weird isn’t it?

He also creates latte portraits of some of his Twitter followers (see pictures above). Have you ever seen anything like it?  How does he do it you might ask? Yamamoto says he uses a spoon and a toothpick, to create his art. He pours the foam in first, then he uses the toothpick to paint with espresso and the spoon to create shapes.

Cherry Blossom time in Japan at the moment.

Cherry Blossom time in Japan at the moment.

Now, those who know me well, know I am fascinated by all things Japanese and as such, I have noted it is Cherry Blossom time once again in Japan at the moment and still I am not there to enjoy it! One day it will happen. Therefore, in the meantime, enjoy this coffee art … just another thing that the Japanese have perfected that makes me have utmost respect for these people.

And I love their philosophies too. According to design philosopher Leonard Koren, it is not a waste of time to create coffee art that will disappear in a few moments down someone’s throat. It is about ‘ephemeral art’ which has its roots in traditional Japanese aesthetics. Two Japanese concepts – wabi-sabi and mono-no-aware (yes, I kid you not!) hold that “many things are beautiful precisely because they are short-lived.”

Which returns us once again to the cherry blossoms. Apparently the Japanese love the metaphor of cherry blossoms too. Koren says “because cherry trees blossom for only a week or two every year, when they do blossom, there is the emotional poignancy of knowing that it is only a temporary state of affairs.”

P1030259This made me think about the things in my life that are very temporary. Take my pink cactus flowers that bloom in spring and only last for 24 hours and then they are dead. I so look forward to their coming … they are like a burst of joy when they arrive and I can’t stop looking at their beauty. I know I have to get my fill of them before they keel over and are gone.


After 24 hours they are gone …

I like this Japanese Philosophy dear friends! It reminds us to stop awhile and enjoy the beauty of things around us. It reminds us to ‘seize the day’ and to practice what the Buddhists call ‘mindfulness.’

This brings to mind a part of an interview I heard whilst driving this morning. The gentleman was talking about people being obsessed with getting the latest news from outside themselves, that they fail to take note of what is happening inside themselves.

It was his belief that this is the reason that insomnia is so prevalent today. People have to wake up during the night in order to think: think about their regrets, or what is happening in their lives. If we allow time for these things in the day we would not be waking up! We need space to think and to dream. I think Social Media doesn’t help here either.

I found myself agreeing with him! You see, I used to wake up around 3am all the time but now I sleep like a baby. Okay I know going to the gym helps, but I have made one change in my life lately which touches on what this chap is saying. I have stopped listening to so much talkback radio and news. Now I listen to a classical FM station (when I’m at home) and I find myself feeling so much better for it. The music causes me to soar … and then to dream.

It reminds us to find JOY wherever we can in life: from coffee art, from cherry blossoms and sometimes from listening to beautiful music. Let us not get bogged down with bad news, politics and wanting to know what everyone’s doing dear friends. Keep it to a short time each day and in the meantime use the principle of: Carpe Diem: Seize the Day! and enjoy your life.