I Spy a Zorigami Yokai!

This old clock has been with my boss forever.  He keeps it in his office sandwiched between some law books.  The thing must be wound by hand each day with a key, a ritual much beloved by an attorney.

I believe this thing is a Tsukumogami in the making.  An object biding its time to reach one hundred years of age, at which time it will become occupied by a spirit.  This clock is specifically a Zorigami Yokai, clock spirit.

It has begun to flex its powers by subtly controlling time.  Have a deadline?  Speeds time up.  Friday afternoons creep by.

How is this happening when it is clearly not one hundred years old?  The one hundred years is just a legend. Any old object can become Yokai, or obtain a spirit, just by virtue of it’s old age.

This old clock is quickly gaining the ability to have a spirit because it is used and touched by human hands each day when my boss lovingly winds it.  In return, if my boss is racing a deadline, this clock has stopped time to allow him to complete his task.

Ever feel uneasy about an old thing and just need to throw it out or give it away?  Trust your intuition on this…

 

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Redefined by Cancer

I was speaking to a long time friend about our recent cancer diagnosis-es.  We have known each other for about 20 years and both recently began our journeys as cancer survivors.

We both were struck how our lives had been redefined by cancer as we gabbed, catching up and discussing the latest about our conditions.

When we met 20 years ago neither of us knew the word metastasize or five year survival rate or waiting for the day you could say you were cancer free…   Neither of us knew the side effects of surgery to remove tumors, chemotherapy or radiation.  Now people ask us questions about these things and want our opinions.

I called my friend at the dinner hour.  20 years ago I would have said “I know its dinner time and you need to feed your family but I just wanted to say hi, lets talk soon.” or she would have said “I have to get dinner on the table, can we talk later?”

But we have been redefined.  Life is short.  Dinner can wait but friendships can’t.

Shopping For My Favorite Things

 

I like to steal from laundry baskets, closets, table tops, well you get the idea.  Mom calls this activity “shopping” and I hear “Henry no shopping!” a lot.

I also love to watch TV and saw THE SOUND OF MUSIC.  Here is a song I made up about shopping, I sing it to THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS from that movie.

Shoes with shoelaces and stinky warm sockies
Bright shiny pennies and used paper napkins
Brown paper packages from Uncle Sam
These are a few of my favorite things

Rust colored squirrels and crisp broken branches
Mom yelling Henry come in for your breakfast
Books from the library or the thrift store
These are a few of my favorite things

Mom in pajamas with plush yummy slippers
Dead leaves that stay on my nose and my whiskers
Open dog treat jars left too close to edge
These are a few of my favorite things

When my Mom yells
No shopping Henry!
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

The Beast and the Monk

The beast leaned into him, huffing it’s warm breath over his cheek.  He leaned into the beast, taking in the sweet musty smell of the animal. The smell of tea shrubs and fragrant white flowers.

Alone he had removed the rocks and debris from the field. Raked the earth smooth until it was finally ready for the beast.

The beast stepped forward, it’s great hoof covering his bare foot. The sharp sound of bones breaking and the intense pain lifted his spirits. A sign that it was time to begin.

Stepping into the field the beast followed him. The hooves of this son and grandson of great Samurai warrior horses left deep indentations as he followed the limping monk back and forth across the field.  Finally the field appeared as though filled with gentle waves  of the ocean coming into high tide. The beast nodded it’s head as if to bow to the monk sensing it’s duty was done.

A simple meal of boiled millet and pickled vegetables was eaten with the hashi (chopsticks) he kept in his sleeve. Tying the hashi together with a small length of  red silk cord from the beast’s armor he was ready for the next task.

Into the middle of each hoof print he pushed his hashi into the earth. Into that hole he dropped one tea seed. Covering each seed with the rich soil he moved to the next hoof print and continued until the entire field was planted.

In the fall of the third year the plants were shoulder height. The monk knew the first harvest would occur the coming spring.  The monk also knew that harvest would produce the finest tea, honcha, the real tea.   Those worthy of this scarce treasure, and who could afford the cost, would enjoy a tea ceremony attaining ultimate understanding, good fortune and good health.

As the monk limped through the field he allowed simple pleasures to fill his heart, taking in the familiar musty smell of tea shrubs and white fragrant flowers and the great beast.