Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
What a joy this weekend was. It was a busy weekend but I had no worries. We moved our daughter back in with her boyfriend. They had a tough time and they needed to be separated for a few weeks, but it turns out that the both of them need each other. So it was a joy this weekend.
This episode is titled "The Flute" and it brought a nice haiku in mind by Jane Reichhold, I still miss her, that I love to share here again:
shadows of leaves
cover the open holes
her flute forgotten
© Jane Reichhold
Maybe you can remember this haiku. I used it in one of our Tan Renga Challenge months, I think it was the year 2016. Here is another haiku in which "flute" is used:
dreams come alive
the old monk plays the bamboo flute
becomes young again
Long since, there lived in Yedo a gentleman of good lineage and very honest conversation. His wife was a gentle and loving lady. To his secret grief, she bore him no sons. But a daughter she did give him, whom they called O’Yoné, which, being interpreted, is “Rice in the ear.” Each of them loved this child more than life, and guarded her as the apple of their eye. And the child grew up red and white, and long-eyed, straight and slender as the green bamboo.
slender as the green bamboo
When O’Yoné was twelve years old, her mother drooped with the fall of the year, sickened, and pined, and before the red had faded from the leaves of the maples she was dead and shrouded and laid in the earth. The husband was wild in his grief. He cried aloud, he beat his breast, he lay upon the ground and refused comfort, and for days he neither broke his fast nor slept. The child was quite silent.
Time passed by. The man perforce went about his business. The snows of winter fell and covered his wife’s grave. The beaten pathway from his house to the dwelling of the dead was snow also, undisturbed save for the faint prints of a child’s sandalled feet. In the spring-time he girded up his robe and went forth to see the cherry blossom, making merry enough, and writing a poem upon gilded paper, which he hung to a cherry-tree branch to flutter in the wind. The poem was in praise of the spring and of saké. Later, he planted the orange lily of forgetfulness, and thought of his wife no more. But the child remembered.
Before the year was out he brought a new bride home, a woman with a fair face and a black heart. But the man, poor fool, was happy, and commended his child to her, and believed that all was well.
Now because her father loved O’Yoné, her stepmother hated her with a jealous and deadly hatred, and every day she dealt cruelly by the child, whose gentle ways and patience only angered her the more. But because of her father’s presence she did not dare to do O’Yoné any great ill; therefore she waited, biding her time. The poor child passed her days and her nights in torment and horrible fear. But of these things she said not a word to her father. Such is the manner of children.
Now, after some time, it chanced that the man was called away by his business to a distant city. Kioto was the name of the city, and from Yedo it is many days’ journey on foot or on horseback. Howbeit, go the man needs must, and stay there three moons or more. Therefore he made ready, and equipped himself, and his servants that were to go with him, with all things needful; and so came to the last night before his departure, which was to be very early in the morning.
He called O’Yoné to him and said: “Come here, then, my dear little daughter.” So O’Yoné went and knelt before him.
“What gift shall I bring you home from Kioto?” he said.
But she hung her head and did not answer.
“Answer, then, rude little one,” he bade her. “Shall it be a golden fan, or a roll of silk, or a new obi of red brocade, or a great battledore with images upon it and many light-feathered shuttlecocks?”
Then she burst into bitter weeping, and he took her upon his knees to soothe her. But she hid her face with her sleeves and cried as if her heart would break. And, “O father, father, father,” she said, “do not go away—do not go away!”
“But, my sweet, I needs must,” he answered, “and soon I shall be back—so soon, scarcely it will seem that I am gone, when I shall be here again with fair gifts in my hand.”
|The Flute - Warwick Goble (image found on Pinterest)|
“Father, take me with you,” she said.
“Alas, what a great way for a little girl! Will you walk on your feet, my little pilgrim, or mount a pack-horse? And how would you fare in the inns of Kioto? Nay, my dear, stay; it is but for a little time, and your kind mother will be with you.”
She shuddered in his arms.
“Father, if you go, you will never see me more.”
Then the father felt a sudden chill about his heart, that gave him pause. But he would not heed it. What! Must he, a strong man grown, be swayed by a child’s fancies? He put O’Yoné gently from him, and she slipped away as silently as a shadow.
Ah! the beauty of nature -
geisha, peonies in her hair,
playing the Shakuhachi
The city of Kioto was passing great and beautiful, and so the father of O’Yoné found it. And what with his business during the day, which sped very well, and his pleasure in the evening, and his sound sleep at night, the time passed merrily, and small thought he gave to Yedo, to his home, or to his child. Two moons passed, and three, and he made no plans for return.
The story goes on above in the menu
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 4th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Green Willow, later on.