He is, he claims, a practitioner of feng shui, and will, for a nominal fee, arrange our home in the harmony it requires.
His fee, of course, is nominal to him only, and hardly one we would incur with the expenses of a new home, with two of too many things, and none of some necessities, which our local merchants will provide for their own nominal fees.
And I don’t know that I want to pay to watch him move two small pieces of pottery and rehang our art so that whatever Chinese gods he channels will be pleased, all while taking our home away from us and leaving a place of his we merely inhabit.
They speak of me, never to me, with terms like breakage, as though life, mine at least, is a glass bottle on a shelf with so many others, and a certain percentage are pre- assumed to break and be discarded and no one will bat an eyelash.
To them I am nameless, one of many, stock in trade, with no provenance, or at least none they would grant me, and they question my origins, as though I may not be worthy enough to even be considered as future breakage.
I want to remind them that they invited me here, invited so many others, that we are here because it was one place we were going to be allowed, but they have grown deaf, and blind, and I must wait until they, too, soon, are swept from the shelf and placed in clearance, then discarded.
a day, clouds drop rain replacing tears locked inside stones and cloth red and blue unseparated still worlds apart orderly ranks all at attention and silence thundering anger a mad world soaked in peace only until midnight.
There was a time that now seems so very long ago, when I would freely admit, sometimes claim to be American, if not acknowledging my time in the Air Force as well.
Those days are gone, as is the place I knew, now morphed into somewhere much the same, and entirely unrecognizable, and I am American by proximity, knowing my welcome has been worn out for me elsewhere.
It need not, ought not, have been this way, political seas have long ebbed and flowed, but I, we, knew we could remain afloat on our constitutional raft, built to ride out whatever storms might blow our way.
We know, or have an abiding hope that this, that he and his band of marauders, will pass into history, a dark cloud finally pushed aside, but despite the shortness of his tenure, I can only nervously wonder what will remain.
They finally used the word or one near enough to it and she was not surprised, she almost welcomed it. You can grow jealous of those with a depth of faith that a sentence of months or perhaps less is received with grace and a smile, a nod and a statement “I’m more than ready to go home now, back to my husband.” I hope I will show such equanimity when I am told my time is quickly drawing to an end, but I am left with great faith in myself, and that may not suffice as I prepare to slip away into oblivion.
On very dreary days I like to drive through the cemetery meandering among the stones until I find a freshly dug grave. I stop, under the vigilant eye of the caretaker and carefully place a cassette of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances or Smetana’s Die Moldau into the player. As the melodies spill forth I hope they lift the spirit of the resting, bringing them a moment of unabashed joy, a memory to carry into an eternity, a lingering riff, sweet as the juice of the strawberry trickling down the chin, a chocolate slowly melting on the tongue. Night will come soon enough bringing a darkness in which they can see their dreams take form and seep away to mingle in the void.
First appeared in Aura Literary Arts Review Vol. 26, No. 1 (2000) and reprinted in Legal Studies Forum, Vol 30, Nos. 1-2 (2006)
So why, pray tell, does my gender even matter, it isn’t like we will ever. meet, and let’s face it, there is a fluidity now which calls binary thinking absurd, so we’ll go with whatever you choose, so long as you realize I am all about compassion and relieving the world’s suffering – thought that might color your opinion a bit, good you got the yin of it
And let’s talk about the whole name thing, I mean, sure, it changes when you change languages, I’m okay with that, I guess but if you are going to use me in Japan why not use my Japanese name, I am particularly fond of Kannon, I’m down with Guanyin, used that one all over Asia, but seriously do you really think I want to go around these days as Avalokiteśvara, I’m centuries old, so show me A bit more compassion than that.