Saturday, May 26, 2007

ash

The box has been sitting in my living room for nine days, and I just found the courage to open it. Courage isn't the right word at all, though. I was waiting for the right moment, when I had no worries or tensions, when I wasn't thinking too much.

I've never seen a cremated person before, not outside the urn that is. It was about 10 pounds of cream-colored powder, slightly gritty, unusually heavy for the volume. There were small chips in there, bone they say, 2 x 4 mm at most. It smelt like nothing.

I set aside some in a small baggie and put it inside one of the Russian lacquer boxes she collected. I'm going scatter that part in redwood forest, which she loved more than the ocean. It's not legal, so I can't do it as official ceremony, and none of the parents could handle driving the winding road up to the forest anyway.

It's funny. Most of me considers the ashes to be $2000 of legally mandated nothing, it has no connection to the person I loved. And a little bit of me, the superstitious part, says to put these things in their proper places: the ocean, the forest, and keep a little bit for me or posterity or something.

What is reality, papa? :)

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