Friday, October 2, 2009

Day Twenty Six - Tired but resolved

Something strange is going on. Yesterday afternoon I got home and decided to write a little bit before the kids got home from football practice. We had college night at the River Center and I knew we wouldn't be home very long. I wrote two paragraphs and got a call from the football trainer/orthopedist saying that my youngest son got hurt. He was going for a tackle and put his head down - evidently you are supposed to do that in football - and went helmet to helmet with the other guy. He hurt his neck and as precautionary steps I took him to get an x-ray/ct scan. Etc. All the scans came back normal - thank God and thank you to all who prayed and communicated to us in the emergency room. He'll have to sit out for a few days but back in a few to get brutalized again, I'm sure. Whew!! This football stuff is crazy.

When the call came in, I was in the middle of writing Day Twenty Five. I didn't get to finish it and so I saved it. Well, somehow it got published to Facebook (but not to my blog) without it being finished and it had a tag line on it that I had not put on there. Weird. Anyway, I'm going forward from yesterday by copying the shrine story below. Sorry about the confusion.

The story of the shrine at Miyakejima - as told by a classmate who I didn't really know very well. Based upon her communications with me, I get the feeling we would be good friends now. Thanks for sharing.

"Jack would tell this story as if it were true.Long ago in old Japan, when an older person felt like it was time for them to die, they would often simply leave their families and wander off into the woods or head to the mountains and find a spot where death could claim them and they wouldn’t be a burden to their families.

Many years ago, on the island of Miyake, an old woman wandered off alone.Several weeks later, a young man was found dead on the steps of the shrine at Miyakejima. Oddly, he had scratch marks on him. His body was on the fourth step of the fourth flight of stairs leading up to the shrine. (There were seven flights of seven steps.) Four, in Japanese, also means death.

His friend found his body, and was shocked and appalled. Who or what could have done this? He decided to camp out one night on the fourth step of the fourth flight of stairs, to see for himself. He went to the shrine and sat on the step, and waited and waited. Finally, around midnight, he heard a slow whistling that rose and then fell. [You have to do the whistle thing here.]

Before long, he saw a ghostly old woman with straggly hair and long fingernails and eyes like hot coals, and the whistling, louder and louder, coming right at him!So he ran off, as fast as he could!

At this point, Jack would switch on the lights and ask who wanted to go to the shrine and replace the wooden spoon he had placed on the fourth step of the fourth flight of stairs with a metal one. If you did this, you got to write your name in a special book, AND if you didn’t, you really couldn’t run for class office or expect to do anything else important for the rest of your life. (Editors note: This sentence is probably my favorite.)

I was the first one in my group to do it, because I knew my older brothers would be waiting for me back in Tokyo, saying, “Dja go to the shrine?! Dja go to the shrine?”"

For those who didn't read through the entire blog, this is relating to previous posts on Day Five towards the end and Day Fifteen - Diving Back In.

It is now eight hours after I got back home from spending five hours in the emergency room. I have to be at work this morning at 7:00 so I shall end now and hopefully get some time to write tonight.

© Copyright 2009 Janet Calcote Simmons All rights reserved.


  1. I have a slightly different story for the shrine.

  2. Please sent it. I'll revise it. I don't have a really good memory about it.