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Monday, May 4, 2015

if taken in my hand

Carpe Diem #720, "if taken in my hand"

Inspirational text:

At the beginning of September I came back to my birthplace. Nothing of my mother remained. The grass in front of mother's room had withered in the frost. Everything had changed. The hair of my brother and sisters was white and they had wrinkles between their eyebrows. We could only say, "We are fortunate to be still alive." Nothing more. My elder brother opened an amulet case and said reverently to me, "Look at mother's white hair. You have come back after such a long time. So this is like the jewel box of Urashima Taro. Your eyebrows have become white." We wept for a while and then I composed this verse:

if taken in my hand
it would vanish in hot tears
autumn frost

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

*) The Japanese story to which Basho's brother is referring is titled "Otohime: beware of gifts from a Dragon Princess" (You can find this tale HERE)

frost on the branches
melts in the early sunlight
life passes

my hair turned gray
as if it was the frost
on bare branches

© Chèvrefeuille

All this talk in the posts about Basho's death, Basho's mother's death, everyone getting old and gray is leaving me feeling ... old.  I look in the mirror and see a weathered face and neck.  No longer do I choose to the check the remainder of the body, too saggy and scary.  At the same time there is no real pull to live the same life over again.  Choose to concentrate on living in the moment even if it includes painful joints, mourning for long lost family and friends.  Even if the moment means just watching the breeze play with the trees, flowers and clouds.

an aged geisha
preparing one last tea
in fading sunlight
©  Janice Adcock

Thanks to Chèvrefeuille for daily prompts on

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