Posted by: jolantru | December 20, 2012

Path of Kindness: Thirty-Four

Her face is the first I see in the crowd of neighbors and friends.


One word. It crawls up my throat, part saw-dust, part-earth, all bitter.

Her eyes flick over my face, down where my hip is, where Hearts sits in her sling, and to Sa, bare-faced, Sa who smiles and bows.

“Come in, both of you,” Mother gently guiding me into her house. Our house. The shock of realization hits. I have been away for too long.


Shu comes running, tears streaming down her face. She skids to a halt when she sees Sa, turns and runs away. My heart breaks. Perhaps she has also seen Heart.

Oysters bite and they bite deep.

While Mother talks to Sa coolly and plays with Heart, I slips out and walks to my own familiar ground, next to the beach, where Shu and I have run as little girls.

This time, I slip out and the tiny oysters – too small to be harvested and deemed inedible – cut my bare flesh. Blood wells up, deep red. I curse and feel the flare of fire within me. I bite back. I am a heretic.

This is a new beginning for me and an end of something.

What is my path, but one of forked roads?

Posted by: jolantru | December 13, 2012

Path of Kindness: Thirty-Three

“Let’s go home,” Sa says finally, hand unwinding the shawl. Face out for all to see.

I heave Heart into her sling. She’s getting so big now. My own heart is sore and teeters on an edge. I see the destruction in the City. Everything gone. My life. Gone

How am I going to heal my broken heart?

“Let’s go home.”

I tug at Kechil’s reins.

Perhaps it’s time.


We crested the hill overlooking the bay. Kechil snorted and stamped his hooves.

This time, my heart teetered, lost its balance and fell. I could go on and on looking at the green-blue water as far as I could see. I could watch the cooking fires soar up in individual columns. I could admire the silverfish gleaming under the setting sun, turning gold and bright.

I wasn’t sure if I could do this. I could just walk back as if I had just left the day before.

No. I didn’t. That was a lifetime ago.

I wasn’t sure if Mother would accept me.

Heart tugged at my hair. The smell of my daughter filled my nostrils, joining the smell of the sea. I was lost for words.

There was no need for words. This longing. This filling-of-my-heart sensation. My mouth was already filled with flavors. Flavors of home, of who I was, of the little family I had with Sa and Heart.

I urged Kechil forward and we began our climb down.

Inside me the fire burned low and would remain so for a long time.

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