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« memoryworld | Main | laughing children »

her eyes are the world

A voice was missing.

Dozing, it concealed inherent pixel images of sad-eyed curious Chinese children trapped behind educational gates near women struggling behind plows and oxen or bent over Butterfly sewing machines threading conversations and manufacturing tongues in Maija village shoe factories years away from wealthy cities and dummies in display windows. 

One joy was selecting the cover photograph. The girl’s image expressed emotional honesty with natural innocence.

She was trapped behind a hard steel grate-full educational reality.

Her eyes held world secrets and unlimited potential. She’d stared at a professional stranger and an aberration in her universe. Her sisters and schoolmates pushed against her. She was trapped against a locked gate. He was on the other side.

He raised a small black machine to his eye. She heard a subtle click. A shutter opened and closed freezing time, capturing her soul on a memory-fiction card. He smiled, thanked her and disappeared.

She had no way to know her child eyes would grace a book cover for everyone to see, breathing her immortality in alchemical manifestations.

He’d visited her primary school speaking strange unintelligible words and singing and dancing.

His laughter and smiles were a relief for the kids after the autocratic, punishing manner of bored illiterate women teachers. They didn't want to be prisoners any more than the kids.

No one had a choice here.

You did what you were told to do in a harmonious society filled with social stability, fear and shame ordered from Beijing well removed from a world where farmers followed oxen in rice paddies.

Green rice stalks revealed their essence below a blue sky in mud and meadows of reality.

A Century is Nothing


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