the work of mourning

Perfect, crisp, blue autumn morning and I am on my way to work, stopped at the lights and I’m seeing a tall apartment building still under-wraps as the construction workers put on the final touches on another structure they have named ‘Royal’ something or other.

There used to be a shrine on that land.

There used to be a huge gingko tree in the yard that gave glorious witness to the changing seasons, and willow trees that leant over the old walls and dissolved boundaries. There was, outside the walls, too, a little roadside shrine, a way-marker for the gods who may having been passing to pay their respects to one of the Locals.

All gone.

What use is there for a shrine to face the law courts?

Hardly anyone visited, they may say. Not practical to have it in the centre of town. Isn’t this bright, tall, spiffy structure better? More practical. Better earner. Won’t it offer better service to the people: real service, like, say, right, royal shelter?

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