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Onsen geisha Matsuei

What if someone received a gift;
A gift wrapped so elegantly,
with the incomparable skill
gained from a lifetime of
doing nothing else?

What if someone received a gift;
This gift so beautiful, wrapped in
Silks of deepest royal hues,
Embroidered with bright flowers;
more beautiful than the gift within?

What if someone received a gift;
On the outside perfect, so detailed;
he could not bear to open
such a fine thing of beauty,
that the gift remains forever unopened?

What if someone received a gift;
A gift he loves but does not know;
a gift of mystery, unknown;
Will he ever know what is inside,
Does he know the value of the heart?

What if I am that gift, received
by one so in love with what he sees
that what he feels or understands
is of no matter. How can he search what I am
If he leaves me under wraps, displayed ?

I am but an unknown toy
A stuffed animal with no name
Kept for decoration and amusement
For eliciting smiles from
those who will smile no other way.

I have asked the questions
I am allowed to ask; I have
been given answers that
do not enlighten, merely
Recited by rote, nothing explained.

What if I am more than the wrapping?
What if what is inside of me
Is more lovely than the finest silk
How will I ever know if there is no mirror?
Who can I ask that will answer me?

If I am nothing more
than silk and binding and white skin;
or if my lips are only painted as a rose
resembling beauty. Should that
which is inside be made known
to the heart as to the eye –
What then? Will I exist?

If I am never uncovered.
If the beautiful box is but
cardboard and paper, hiding
nothing of substance – would that
mean that I am not?

If you will tell me;
If you will unwrap the yards of silk
Untie all that binds me
Then perhaps I will learn, and all who gaze
will find and know – I am only a paper lantern
That can be ruined in the rain.

The one who has received me.
It is he who fears – even more than I –
Once opened, I cannot be wrapped again;
Once revealed, there would no longer be
The mystery, hidden beneath the beauty.
So I will remain, until the silks fade,
The ribbons unravel, the brittle knots fail.
I will be relinquished, set aside.
New gifts will be displayed, again unopened.

I would understand,


When I first began this study/reflection on the photo prompt of the geisha, (from Lara Dunning’s A Writer’s Blog,) I lost the thread of my thought, and went off in a different tangent, and ended up responding with one of my “humorous” posts –  a prompt response about prompt responding.  For some reason or other, I decided to finish it today.  Actually, I’m not sure it is really finished, but then neither does the geisha think that she is!

I wish you all enough. . .