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a quiet light

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I go on a journey.
Not a journey where I leave with empty hands to return with full hands
But one to empty my full hands

20090217 Blonote

 

Tanyuu doesn't really count the days, but she doesn't need to. Even when she's not paying attention, the darkness creeps slowly up her skin, like a surfeit of words slowly siphoning from the air around her, the breaths she takes, the whispers of the leaves as they brush against the roof of the house. There are so many stories, but she can't hear the words alone.

The creak of her crutches counts the time for her instead, the way the sound of the straining wood grows gradually louder as she keeps moving. Hop, hop, hop. It's a different kind of time.

 

We, who had to learn the beauty of wings by looking at taxidermied butterflies…

20081217 Blonote

 

Ginko is not the only one with stories, but Tanyuu likes his stories the most, a fact which she mentions, the words slipping out of her mouth, more temporary than the ink that is more than ink, but just as permanent.

Ginko doesn't laugh. Ginko meets her eyes, nodding his head as he tips it slightly to the side.

"Everyone tells me stories about things dying," Tanyuu says, turning her eyes to gaze out the window, at the breeze carrying with it the seed pods of the maple trees who are just beginning their journey to somewhere else.

"There are so many living things," Ginko says, and takes a sip of tea.

 

The wind blows. I should live.
The wind blows. I should live.
The wind doesn’t blow.
I should still live.

Nam Jin Woo
The Seven Notes Or Practising Despair Regarding Comte de Lautréamont’s Wanderings And Frustrations

 

There's a particular feeling, when she sets her brush to paper. Ginko asks her once, what it's like.

She sits there, on the boulder in the field, staring at the sky, the horizon waiting like a promise of a future she might get to taste. Her leg is quiet. Sated.

"It feels like bleeding," she says, lifting a hand, the light breeze trickling between her fingers, invisible to the eye. "It feels like letting go."

Ginko nods, once, even though she feels that the words aren't quite right, and follows her gaze out to hills.

It's like when I hear about places I haven't seen, she thinks.

It doesn't really matter if the words aren't enough.

 

I had a dream about escaping

20080902 Blonote

 

The story is everything, but the story is also nothing. Tanyuu sits at the table, eyes tracing over the letters that swim together into the blur of an ocean she’s never seen as moisture fogs her vision. Drip, drop, some of the feelings spill over, landing on the paper that doesn’t smudge.

Is it sadness? She wipes her eyes and reaches for the crutches, the wood familiar beneath her fingers. There’s a different kind of story there, one that doesn’t have words or narrative or a record in the archives. Everything holds a secret, the wood of the crutch, the wind passing beneath the eaves, the forbidden mushi housed in her flesh. Everything is a story.

She takes a deep breath and runs her fingers over the words.

 

I want to leave for somewhere I don’t want to leave

20150907 Blonote

 

Sometimes, at night, Tanyuu looks out at the stars in the dark sky and thinks about her ancestor, the first one who held the forbidden mushi, her entire body stained. Her leg slips between the folds of the fabric, and she doesn’t look down at her skin, but stares instead at her fingers, stained with ink, something she has done herself.

"The first stories were like fairy tales," she reminisces, her words floating to the ceiling.

"I’m a fairy tale," she whispers, "and one day I will quell the dragon and leave the castle."

The mushi-shi come, the dragon-slayers, and they bring tales of death. Tama comes to her door, knocking gently on the wood frame before she slides it open.

"Ginko has come," she says. Tanyuu readies her bush to write stories of dragons who can sometimes understand, just like anyone else. After all, she holds one within her.

 

Among the countless things the two of us can share,
Silence seems to be the most valuable.

20150831 Blonote

 

Sometimes they sit side by side on the porch, Ginko with his tobacco, her with her pipe. The grass rustles and crickets chirp, hidden from sight.

Ginko exhales, circles of smoke that drift through the air, expanding to encompass the world. Tama brings tea; it slips warmly down Tanyuu’s throat.

There are so many living things, so many delightful things. Ginko smiles at nothing in particular, and Tanyuu finds herself laughing; he starts to laugh and then mis-swallows, coughing on an exhale. The air hangs sweet in the sky.

They don’t need to say anything at all.

 

Everything will be good
Everything will be good
Everything will be good

20150328 Blonote