Celebrating Fire

Their mother had moved to Kyoto, Japan— following her dream. Cellphones and the internet helped. While she was building her new life as a translator, the four kids were also growing into their adult lives in Chicago. They had their own apartments, jobs, relationships — yet stayed close, getting together for dinners, and this past summer even taking an adventurous trip together.

Today in an email cc’d to all, she wrote: Two days ago I took the train to Kurama, about a half hour away, for their Fire Festival. I was reminded of the photos you posted this summer from the festival you all went to in Nevada. Well, this was considerably smaller :- ) but it WAS truly extraordinary. People carrying enormous torches, some 15 feet or taller, lighting bonfires throughout the night. Taiko drums beating madly as they carried a mikoshi, a portable shrine through the streets. I’ll attach a short video I took.

Distance and cost has kept them from visiting, but they all did their best to maintain and keep their relationships real, even occasionally sending playful treasures through the mail.
She added at the end: And as you sent me that little packet of desert dust from your trip, I will be sending you some torch-ashes from here, in the mail. Love you all.

They knew when the package arrived it would have the little red circle she always drew on her correspondence — the circle of the sun, the flag of Japan, Land of the Rising Sun.


© AleXander Hirka 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Heliocentric Redux 2019
Heliocentric. October 2018 writing project — one short sketch a day, under 250 words each, circling like a planet around The Sun.

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For your consideration, my blog: Tempest Tossed in New York City — writing and art and life in New York City

Writer, visual artist, philosopher, autodidact, curmudgeon. More than half of what i do is make believe. https://alexanderhirka.nyc

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