Search This Blog

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Part Two: Midori and the Waterwheel

Now the cowboy was reborn as Midori and was very selfish by nature. She became an orphan at an early age. Soon she was passed on to an artisan who passed her on to a wealth merchant’s mistress in Kyoto. Mistress (Indian Chief) finally sent her to Maiko school in Gion district to be trained as Geiko (Geisha). Midori wore finest green silk imported from China, wore ivory powder imported from Africa and doused herself in perfume imported from France. Her voice was hoarse and harsh but she made up for it in remarkable movements during the dance. She devised a way to compensate for the voice by adding elegant moves. She soon became the center of attention. Her clients included warlords, merchants, and rich men from all walks of the life. Some of her clients came to see her dance all the way from Tokyo. 


One day an attractive young bodyguard of a nobleman from Tokyo arrived in Gion. Young Maikos and old Geikos all flocked to see the young man. Midori decided that she wanted him at no cost and created an elaborate song and dance play out of a Japanese classic in front of the nobleman’s group. Eventually she got close to the bodyguard (the employer) and lured him into her chamber.

            She eventually had an infant child whom she did love much. She was a selfish mother who did not care of any other kids but her own child. As fate would have it, Midori was soon kicked out of the Gieko school. After drifting between friends, she found work at a farm in the southwestern Kyoto for planting and collecting rice. This was an arduous work and Midori lived on a miserly sum. The owner of the farm (one of her grandchildren from cowboy lifetime), a widow, hired her on seasonal basis; she took pity on her and let her live for free during the rest of the year next to the family shrine towards the mountain. Midori cleaned the shrine during the day, fed the ducks in the nearby pond, and played with her baby. Soon she fell into the routine and started liking her new life. She attracted attention of few young farm hands nearby but she did not lead them on and kept it to herself.


            One day Midori left the baby next to the shrine and walked towards the back to collect the fall leaves. A snake wiggled passed the baby and baby stepped on its tail. The infant died immediately after the snake-bite and turned blue soon. When Midori found the baby, she fell into a shock. She became recluse and stopped going out of the house. A whole month passed and no one saw her except the farm owner who fed her every day and combed her hair. She made sure that Midori was taken good care of.  She would bring her baby boy to her and would encourage her to play with him and tell her to her all about his activities. One day, in the early Spring, while it was still snowing, Midori’s friend took off to a nearby town to look for farm equipment and strike a good deal before the planting season began. Soon after coming back home, she fell sick and took to the bed for several days. Her condition deteriorated further. She knew she was drawing close to her death and called on Midori one last time. She grabbed Midori’s hand, and with pool of tears, she asked her to take care of the baby. Midori hesitated but finally gave her word.  Soon her friend passed away and told her that she is leaving the farm and the farm hands to Midori and that she had signed the papers and kept them next to the baby’s crib. Midori, in her characteristic nonchalant manner, arranged for the cremation and had the farm hands carry out the ashes and bury them next to the farm. She gave them instructions to clean up the farm for the planting and to arrange for a sculptor to create a headstone for the urn as per the custom.
            She came back inside the house and put the baby’s crib next to her bed. The baby (Clifton) cried vehemently. Midori perfectly knowing that the baby needed food and closeness of his mother blatantly ignored him. She simply kept the baby next to her bed and starred at her. The day passed; the baby went hungry and cried all night and finally fell asleep. Next morning, most of the snow melted and it turned into a small spring next to the waterwheel. The sun came out and shone against the last bit of snow on top of the inactive waterwheel.  Baby woke up and opened his big eyes and fixed them on Midori. Midori looked out at the glitter of the snow on the waterwheel in the sunshine. She fell into a trance, and faintly recalled how she remembered it from very far land in very far time. She could not bring the baby up to her breast knowing the baby needed her milk. All the while during her emotional turmoil, the baby kept looking into her eyes. She recognized him and remembered more of their last time together.


 She finally opened herself and gave up the fight. She fed the baby and love flowed from her for the first time in this and other lifetime personalities which were always at odds with the baby’s personalities. She felt so happy and satisfied at the selfless service she provided. She became elated and took very good care of the baby just like her own.


She began to understand the meaning of service to others. Her voice got lighter and sweeter. Her farms grew new grains of rice which became popular. She took the profits and started an orphanage in the countryside where she lived. Her beauty, charm, and kindness was known all over the countryside. However none of that popularity was important to her. Her priority is her child as was the orphanage and the farm. She felt happy from inside.


No comments:

Post a Comment