Photo by Doug McIlroy
Koi are a long lived variety of carp that have become symbols of love and friendship in Japan. These fish, which can live for up to 30 years (though one famous koi was believed to have lived for over 200) are kept in ponds for their beauty and decorative purposes. Yamabushi are Japanese mountain ascetic hermits with a long tradition, endowed with supernatural powers in traditional Japanese mysticism
鯉 <– Kanji symbol for carp or koi
Word Count: 100
Homonym for Love
I sat by the pond where a lone koi swam up to the surface and scoped me out with a single fisheye. Wisdom, or something like it, flickered in the black orb – a knowing of things I couldn’t yet name.
Something familiar in this one, swimming in lazy circles, reminding me of someone.
Rumors swirled in this part of Japan of the yamabushi who changed lost souls into koi. Sitting by the pond, I knew why this one seemed to know me. Lost no more, I called his name.
A quiet splash in response, saying all he could not.
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© Erin Leary