The Samurai and the Wren: Part V East and South

Mount Fuji -A view from the Lake Kawaguchiko o...

Mount Fuji -A view from the Lake Kawaguchiko on a bright sunny day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cherry blossoms bloomed and dropped to the ground, a passing cloud.  Red maple leaves burned brightly, a flame quickly burned to ash.  Time passed around us and we stood still in the center of our love.  He went home to Japan every other year to visit his sister.  When he returned, he would bring me gifts:  pearls, kanzashi, Zen perfume, hand sewn silk kimonos, my own wazikashi, his kisses and his love.

For several days he would move to a different rhythm and his silences as he fed his nishikigoi, were as deep as the depths where they would sleep.  Then, we would return to our normal pace.  He and I would sit on the steps of our back porch and watch the sunrise or the sunset, our arms wrapped around each other.  We had fed each other strawberries and laughed and made love on those steps.  I had wept in despair and pain when his friends would whisper against me, how I had caused him to lose face.  We sat on those steps and he promised he would love me until the stars came down from the sky to live in my hair and until those stars grew cold and and their ashes scattered around the universe.

Another spring and we had picnics under cherry trees and plucked blossoms to put in each others hair and in our bath and scatter on our sheets and each other.  Another autumn and we danced beneath red maples; I had taught him the Viennese waltz and we would twirl and float and laugh with joy.

When he would compete, I would dress him and wind his hair into the knot.  When he came home, I would undress him and take care of cuts and kiss his bruises as if I could take away the pain.

At night he would brush my hair, slow, easy strokes.  And then he would take me in his arms and gently tuck me into bed as if I were his most treasured possession.  We would love each other to sleep and there were times I would awaken to see him watching me sleep.  He would awaken sometimes to find me watching him sleep.  I would awaken to hear soft music as he played the piano, gentle and tender night songs.

Japan began to beckon.  He talked of returning and of us being married there.  How he would show me his homeland and I would finally be able to walk again on Fuji and to see the sea at Kanagawa.  Long conversations of reality would wind in endless circles.  A Caucasian man and an Asian woman was acceptable.  An Japanese man and a Caucasian woman?  I would be a liability to his career and we both knew it. He would lose face.  He was becoming known for his knowledge of Forensic Pathology and physical anthropology – how bones spoke to him in a language only he could understand and interpret.

We both felt the inevitable.  We wept and dreamed and argued and wept and talked and tried to resolve the situation.  He talked with friends.  He went back to Japan and talked and checked out options for his career.  We knew the future.  If he stayed here, he would always be looking East.  If we went, I would be a liability and he would be looked at as less than he was.  Because I loved him, I made him go.  Because he loved Japan, he left.  Because I loved him, I let him.

Our house had been packed up and sold.  With only a few bags and few items shipped ahead, he made ready to leave.  I drove him to the airport.  I walked him to the gate.  We looked into each other’s eyes and I touched his tears and touched them to my lips.  He said, “I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul.”  I turned and walked away.  I did not look back.

When I returned back to my new place, on the pillow where he had last laid his head, was his tee shirt.  I picked it up and held it to my face, breathing in his scent.  I began weeping.  I was surprised to see the tears were normal tears and not tears of blood.  I still have his tee shirt in tripled plastic bags. It still smells of him.  He never married.  Our friend Jeff sometimes goes to visit.  My love lives alone In Japan and never married.  He restores honor and gives names to the nameless dead.

Kanashimi 悲しみ – Sorrow

 Bare maple. Cold wind.

Bare cherry. Cold wind. Branches

twine but do not touch.

Momiji 紅葉

Red maples dance:  I
Approach  slowly and listen
To the wind.  Music

For the maples as
I join in their dance.  My arms
Raised to them.  Their leaves

Shining red: flutter.
Wind stills.  I bow to these most
Perfect of partners.

Line of fire:  maples
Ignite the sky and burn the
Horizon.  Night falls.

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