It came to me in a dream that I was a lucky wife. After I had my son my husband brought me a lovely necklace of a green stone that had shiny crystals all around it to let me know how pleased he was to have a son. My neighbor told me it might be jade and diamonds and was probably very expensive. From that I deduced that we were well off. Of course, as a good Japanese wife, I never asked my husband what he did for work. He spoke to me rarely. I knew his days were filled with meetings with important men. Because of that, I was very respectful and did not interrupt his thoughts with words of my own. Other women knew he was important and wealthy and they laughed at my handmade robes but I was proud, because I loved taking my needle and thread and making tiny stitches, it helped me to be obedient to my husband’s expectations that I would not go out to shop or to visit. I stayed at home and raised our beautiful son. And I was content to do so.
Weeks or maybe months later, I had another dream. My husband and son and I were on vacation, in a place with beautiful colored birds such as I had never seen before, and my son and I were outside sitting on a stone terrace surrounded by a parapet. My husband was sleeping and I kept putting my finger to my mouth to hush my son so as not to wake his father. I had on my lap a lovely purple and blue silky material which I was stitching for a new robe for myself. I held it up to inspect the stitching, and I was pleased that the small stitches obeyed my fingers and followed one another in a perfect line. Then I stabbed my finger with the needle and while I was hiding the blood under my old robe, so that my husband might not see it and feel repulsed, my son had climbed up on the parapet. Before I could set down my needle and grab hold of him, he had fallen.
I rose from my chair and hurried to look over the parapet. His head was twisted around so that his mouth was in the dirt. His eyes were open as if gazing at the bloody ground. A great sob rose within me. He, my gift to my husband, was gone. He had fallen while I was fiddling with other things that I thought were important.
As to myself, I knew what my fate would be. I would sit around the gates of the city with others who, like myself, had no husband. I would beg for food, I would shiver in the cold, the sun would mercilessly burn my skin, I would no longer have a pretty roof over my head or jewels around my neck or a son to be proud of. For I knew my husband would leave me with the death of our son. That’s just the way it was for a Japanese wife who busied her mind with little matters while neglecting the hallowed son who then fell down and died.
For of what use was I?
© 2012 Just Lynne - 4/6/12