Stephen Evans

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Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey.

Mending

Kintsugi (金継ぎ) is the Japanese art of repairing broken items with gold. The gold highlights the area of the breakage, with the idea that the history of the object is part of its beauty. My father practiced his own version of Kintsugi, though not with gold. Exactly.

My mother owned a small porcelain statue of a girl and a puppy, a Hummel or something like. It is an endearing image, or it was originally. With four boys and a continuing series of dogs in the house, that poor little girl endured many accidents during the fifty or so years she has graced our presence. The puppy somehow escaped mostly unscathed.

My mother loved the statue. So every time it was broken, my father brought out the Elmer’s glue and painstakingly tried to put her back together. I can’t begin to count the number of times, or ever forget the image of my 6’ 4’’ (and a half he would insist, just like John Wayne) father hunched over the table with his calloused hands tracing the delicate porcelain pieces with a toothpick, painstakingly applying the white adhesive.

The result was never perfect, or even close. Seams are visible everywhere. Some parts never fit back together right. Some are gone completely. But it is still Kintsugi to me–the mending preserves their history together. The gold is in the memory.

The statue now sits on the top shelf of my china cabinet, safely keeping company with other vestiges of that era. I think sometimes of giving her away. But I haven’t. I can’t. Who but me will see the decades of love melded in the mending? Who but me?

Yet now, we.

And that is mending too.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
A sweet and hopeful analogy of Life itself. Thank you :-) (Just an aside, I can't help picking up a hint of wistfulness on your ... Read More
Saturday, 02 November 2019 18:00
Stephen Evans
yes, I have wondered that myself. Maybe that is why she prized the little girl so. Though she had her outlets, Sodality at church,... Read More
Sunday, 03 November 2019 00:55
212 Hits
2 Comments

Time to Sing

So there’s this cricket.

He comes to visit every August, and he stays in the wall of my bedroom.  His living room seems to be the window frame by my bed, I think because it is the best place to sing. It is long and slender, almost like an echo chamber.

 

He likes to sing.

Especially at night.

My hearing is pretty sensitive. And I find I am unable to fall asleep while he (or she – we’ve never actually met in person) is serenading me.

So if I have been a little grump lately I apologize. I am not getting as much sleep as usual.

Not to be un-neighborly, but I have tried to convince him to move. I drop essential oils in a small hole in the window frame, which are supposedly too aromatic for the species. I shoot compressed air down the chamber, hoping to convince him a hurricane is approaching and he should take (other) shelter.  I put in an ultrasonic device.

None of these have worked. But I refuse to take more drastic measures. I don’t want to hurt him; I just want him to find another place to sing.

I have also tried ways to co-exist. Noise generators. Ear plugs. These help, but not enough.

I thought perhaps he might be insulted at the lengths I would go to avoid his song. If someone did that while I was singing, I think I would get the hint. But he keeps on singing, even knowing that he is singing to himself.

But it occurred to me this morning that we are the same in this way. He keeps on singing whether anyone is listening. I keep on writing whether anyone is reading.

I’m luckier than he. Once his song is done, it is gone. My words will last a bit. I can’t say how long. But longer than I will, likely. And that is one of the things that keeps me writing.

He is singing now as I write this. And as I am singing in my own way here, I think: “keep singing little one”.

Everyone needs their time to sing.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Permission to sing is a wonderful thing, especially if you are raised in a family that, for strange puritanical reasons, does not ... Read More
Saturday, 12 October 2019 16:35
Stephen Evans
My father sang all his life, very nice second tenor voice. He got a ukulele for Christmas once and loved to sing along with it. ... Read More
Sunday, 13 October 2019 03:20
254 Hits
2 Comments

Memory

"I am grown old and my memory is not as active as it used to be. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened."   

        Mark Twain

Autobiography

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Some mischievous ambiguity here :-)
Sunday, 28 July 2019 23:28
Rosy Cole
In view of the above theme, I feel bound to add this: Back in the theater again after too many years. My new play, MONUMENTS open... Read More
Sunday, 28 July 2019 23:57
Stephen Evans
Very kind! ... Read More
Monday, 29 July 2019 01:25
510 Hits
3 Comments

The Butterfly and the Bee

As we all know, I have a low threshold of fascination. Today for example as I have been working on a book, I have also been keeping an eye on my petunias. I have never had petunias before, so perhaps that accounts for some of the fascination.  But really what garnered my attention for the last few hours is two visitors: a butterfly and an bee.

Initially actually I was watching a pail of water. It’s very hot today and I had set out what I hoped would be a makeshift birdbath. As I watched the pail, the water looked still and undisturbed. But the bright sun threw a reflection of the water onto the roof of my porch. In the reflection I could see the water moving, from the wind or maybe convection currents as the water heated in the brutal daylight. The reflection also showed the rippling waves as my gift evaporated. I felt like I  had my own little Plato’s cave, except the reflection was truer than the actual. Though I suspect that was true of Plato's as well. 

But then the butterfly appeared, a large one, likely a swallowtail  (my older brother would know), black wings with blue and gold spots. She (I think) kept flying around the weeds in my little garden. I have weeds in my garden, a lot of them this year. I leave them there because I don’t hurt anything if I don’t have to and they seem to feel the same. Anyway, the butterfly kept landing on one after another of the weeds, continually disappointed I assume, and completely ignorant of the cornucopia of petunias in the hanging basket not five feet overhead. Every once in a while she would float up and I would think—there, now she’s finally got it! But, so far at least, she has not made the leap. Perhaps it was an aesthetic choice and green is her preference. But the purple and pink treasure remained unclaimed. By the butterfly anyway.

The bee came later. A tiny one—though as scarce as bees have become around here I was glad to see any—found the petunias. But instead of gorging on the large full flowers, he instead insisted on trying to make his way into the nearly closed nearly dead blossoms, skipping entirely the glorious siblings. I watched him disappear into the narrow passage, and could see the from the turbulence outside the tunnel how difficult his passage was. I don’t if he made all the way it in, nor what he found when he got there. Maybe he just wanted a challenge. Or maybe the ripened juice is sweeter. Perhaps the bee knew his business better than I.

There are many morals that could be drawn here. But I will leave it to you, and the butterfly, and the bee. My wish is simply this: May you be  fascinated by flowers.

(Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay )

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
This is so beautiful...and profound. A Christian friend said recently that he thought our view of heaven tended to be Platonic and... Read More
Sunday, 21 July 2019 16:53
Stephen Evans
Thank you Rosy!
Sunday, 21 July 2019 18:13
1268 Hits
2 Comments

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I wish British mothers did, too. Although I suspect that in Paris, too, this is a relatively rare o...
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