Skip to content

Rusty kettle…

July 11, 2010

By this time new houses had been built along Fifth Street,

some of them no better than shacks in those depression years…

In the worst of these lived a very poor woman with young children and no husband…

Her name was Mrs. K—

One day she gave birth to a baby,

and word soon got about that it was a Chinese baby…

Wo Lee was blamed…

“Just imagine,” someone said, making a face, “With that smelly Chinaman!”

Mother was having her Uptown friends for tea…

“Does he ever take a bath?”

“How could she do it?”

“Free vegetables, I suppose.”

“I hope she asked for more than that!”

Well Wo Lee,

whether you paid with free vegetables or more than that,

I’m glad you found solace for all of your years of hard work and loneliness,

and I’m glad Mrs. K— found a friend to help her face the years of hardship and despair…

And I hope you did what men and women do not once but many times to make that Chinese baby,

and that there was joy and gladness in doing it…

— in Wo Lee Stories by John Norris

Yesterday afternoon there was a street party a few blocks over from my house,

and I went for the first time since Little Gem was baby…

The neighbours have made jokes with me for years about the firemen that show up for the event,

and have been prone to asking,

don’t you want to go over and check out their equipment…

Sometimes I find this funny,

and sometimes I don’t…

Yesterday I wasn’t in a laughing mood,

but I decided to walk over just to check out the frequency I was holding,

and my growth…

What I found was that I no longer have a feeling of connection to that gathering of neighbours…

I feel like I’ve more than outgrown the situation,

and my surrounds…

And on this particular day,

having every second person ask me,

Where are your girls???

was something like grinding salt over my open heart surgery…

Starshine and Little Gem have no interest or connection to this place any more either…

Their orbits are looking to circle in another direction…

Little Gem has a certain fond memory,

and it is for the time when she was a baby and I would pick her up from her father’s,

on that same block…

She often tells me,

You used to wrap me up so that I could lay back in the stroller and see the moon…

The air was cool on my face but I was so cozy in my blanket…

I wish we could do that again,

because I loved that time with you,

and the feeling of walking home safe in the darkness…

Having lived in the same neighbourhood through many trials and tribulations,

has given me a sense of what it feels to want to be anonymous,

with your own story,

that nobody knows,

and no one can talk about,

with their pointing fingers…

I work hard not to gossip about others,

but I found myself doing that very thing about a young single mother who lives around the corner…

I had to remind myself that this isn’t how I want to be in the world,

and that many things are best left unsaid…

Many people,

even those who go to yoga class,

aren’t aware of the fact that there are mouths between each of our toes,

and that these mouths need to breath,

or the air gets stale,

and sticky…

If you find your feet have morning breath,

hold your big toe and its next door neighbour in between your fingers,

and walk them back and forth with a sniff, sniff, sniff…

Then pull them apart with a great big,

Ahhhhhh…

Repeat with each mouth along the top of both feet…

You’ll be amazed at the results over time,

if you keep this up…

You might not remember that your whole body is a lung…

So breath deep down into the very bottom of yourself,

and let it all out with a song…

Where it began, I can't begin to knowin'... (photo: Starshine)

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: