trauma of war

The Stone Cry Out by Hikaru Okuizumi

Tsuyoshi Manase,, one of the Japanese soldiers who survived during waning days of the WW 11, remembered the horrors of war. He remembered the dimly lit cave where they hid and the massacre of his fellow soldiers, who were dying from starvation and could not fight anymore. He remembered the commanding officer, the captain with a shiny sword, whom he respected and feared, how gently he touched the side of their necks to end their lives.He remembered his fellow soldier, a lance corporal, who gave him a stone and told him,“Even the most ordinary pebble has the history of this heavenly body we call the earth written on it,” and continued to give a lecture on geology while he was dying.

The trauma of war permeated his life in a very subtle way.After the war, as if to honor the corporal, Manase, started collecting stones which turned into an obsession, became a respected geologist and but isolated him from his family.

Then tragedy struck. His older son, who became interested in stones was murdered in the nearby quarry where he went to look for stones for his collection. His wife blamed him for their son’s death and broke apart his family.His other son joined the rebel students revolting against the university and the government.
.
The scene at the dimly lit cave came roaring back in his memory as if events were happening again. He remembered the stone and corporal begging to give him one more day, the captain with his sword ordering Manase: “kill him”.

The stones in the cave cried out. The novel, a psychological study, is 138 pages long.

lines and shapes

will my thinking illumine my world
or if you hear me
will it change yours?

the mountain leans to one side
children play in the shadows
birds follow the curve of light

I come to you
with my absurdities
walking on the beach

where children zigzagged
looking for seashells, messages
where we, once, were strangers.

a bird’s nest

IMG_6810“paying attention to different things”
“the paths of the forest”
What do you see?

note: I was making a slideshow for our KICK-OUT celebration and suddenly this bird’s nest photo appeared. I didn’t know how it got among the Rotary photos I have taken through the year. I don’t remember if the photo is mine or not. Sometimes memory fails.

The quoted phrases are from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations. Today’s meditation is about the orthopraxy of St. Francis.

a promise

a boy and the waves
chasing each other
the waves reach and recede as far as strength takes
he, as far as the ocean can hold him safely
they are laughing, promising
to see each other often
time and the ocean will offer him a crest
he and time will ride.

I, too, make a promise
with time to see them together
I, too, am laughing
my eyes, the loudest.

one of those times

SmileA vase of full of tulips and a smiley face
next to each other on a table
what can I say

I pass through stages:
running through the rain,
watching shoppers in the mall,
seeing you with someone else,
eating ice cream and laughing
what can I say

sadness is not what I felt
it’s loneliness
in the midst of a crowd
like being in the Trevi Fountain
with plenty of coins and alone
what can I say

Once a mystery

No more dramatic monologues, night screams,
intermittent buzzes at any hour
the doctor removed a spider
that took lodging in his ear.

He paints flaming flowers, meteors showering the sky
wide landscapes with tulips in stages of bloom
Now, only pastels, ladies walking with their dogs
along the shore.

Where is the flame, the fire
that burns his fingers?