asher63 (asher63) wrote,

The Dragon Dishes

They're dark grey around the edges, shading to a light, greenish-tinted tan in the middle. The rims and highlights are gold leaf. There's a green dragon with batlike wings curling around the sides of the dish, snorting streams of blue smoke and rolling his eyeballs expressively. The dragon is in relief, you can run your fingers along his bumpy scales. (Or is it a she? The dragon has a beard, so I think it's a boy dragon. But I'm not sure. A dragon in drag, maybe?)

The dishes are twelve centimeters wide, the diameter of a compact disk. There are teacups that go with them. On the bottom there's a stamp that says, "HAND PAINTED - MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN". I remember the set from when I was a kid. The set used to belong to my grandmother, we'd see them at her house in Bath, Maine, when we'd go up there for the Thanksgiving weekend. We lived in Connecticut and it was about a two hundred mile drive. I secretly coveted the china from Japan.

Now that the pieces have passed to me, I still find them just as beautiful as I did then. There's still that air of mystery to them, too. I find myself wondering what those dragons are thinking about their long journeys - from postwar Japan, to Maine, to Connecticut, and finally to Oregon - and what they'd say if they could. Where would they fly to, if given the chance? Perhaps they already enjoy unlimited freedom to travel within their own dish-shaped or teacup-shaped circular worlds.

But the dragons cannot speak, or if they can, they do a good job of keeping their thoughts to themselves. So perhaps their job is not to answer my questions, but to ask questions of me. If I were a dragon, where would I go? Where would I fly to? What kind of magic would I do?
Tags: life

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