chopsticks

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13 Responses to “chopsticks”

  1. after all that
    burning
    and settling
    it is duty
    to pick the
    bones out of
    your cooling
    ashes and into
    your new, marble
    skin, feet first.

    how were you
    able to remain
    so still, tickled
    by more than
    a dozen pairs
    of slippery
    chopsticks –
    and after all these
    years, i guess
    now you
    know, my dear
    i have never learned
    to hold them
    correctly
    .
    20100313:2235
    y

  2. […] were you able to remain so still, tickled by more than a dozen pairs of slippery chopsticks – and after all these years, i guess now you know, grandpa, i have never learned to hold them […]

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  4. Beautiful photo and interesting poem. There is something very appealing, promising, and hopeful about a stack of fresh, unused chopsticks. Like they still hold potential to be used for something other than simply eating a fast food meal.

    • thank you for the comment. it’s about the ceremony of relatives transferring the leftover bones from a cremation into the urn, with long chopsticks or metal picks. it is interesting in a way…wrong chopsticks. thank you for visiting.

  5. You really do that, “Y”? Transfer ashes with chopsticks?…as a family? Something I haven’t spoken of, but you are bringing back memories. My sisters and I did our parents’ bidding and scattered their ashes together. One sister came up with the idea that we should pour them together, first, and then stir them with a spoon so that they would be really mixed and as one. Your poem and answer to Eva helps me to feel much better that we may have been following something others do and think nothing of. I found that simple act of sharing the mixing of their ashes and the scattering, done with my siblings, a wonderfully healing experience. It brought us together more closely than I thought possible, like making a memory only the three of us could share.
    As far as chopsticks! I could never get the hang of them until this year when a nice waitress took time to show me and stand by me . I ate the whole meal with chopsticks and wasn’t messy about it. You would have thought I’d conquered Rome I was so happy. Only took 59 yrs to learn but I finally got it. I may not have held them right, according to Grandpa, but I got it done. 🙂

    • (smile) it’s good to think of something else. thank you for sharing.

      • hi, Leslie – in a more detailed response, since so far today, i can see clearly and not through swollen eyes – yes, all the relatives pick a piece of the bone with long chopsticks to put into the urn. the pieces are placed in there, feet first so that the individual is not upside down in the urn. the relatives only select one piece, and then the man takes care of the rest. it reminded me of the Departures film (2009 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film), which was so poetic and lovely and sad. mixing the ashes of your parents to me seems forbidden! there’s an idea of love in there, but i would have been the sister that asked, “could you and should we really do that?” (smile)

      • Thank-you, “Y”. That is such a beautiful tradition that you do. I know that what my sisters and I shared was not something others may do. I do know my parents requested a spot they wished to be scattered together as one. We quietly went in search of the “as one”. We did what they asked us to do. Thank-you for explaining to me your custom. I am learning so much.

  6. Yi-Ching—I so appreciate this poem–the ashes, cremation, the knowing person, the chopsticks–all part of the cycle and connections. Hmm.
    Hi to Leslie who is engaging both your photography and poetry is such strong personal ways.

    • i feel like i am not ready to go into details outside of poetry, i.e., talk about it. but today feels much clearer – thus the more detailed explanation to Leslie above. thank you!

  7. Leslie, thank YOU. i am also learning from you.

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