After a viewing time and a sermon, the end the coffin was borne up to a cemetery on a hill. On the way up the hill I noticed people picking up stones about the size of my head. At the top of the hill among the other graves a hole was dug 4 feet into the ground. The coffin was then put into the ground and the dirt was shoveled on top of the coffin. The sound of the clods hitting the coffin--loud thud, to dull, to nothing--is one of the things that don’t need to go in a journal because there’s just no way to do them justice.
After the dirt hit ground level, people took their stones and made a rectangular, raised area around the coffin. This left a serious impression on me and I think to write “poetic gesture” but know it is a criminal understatement.
The dirt displaced by the coffin was stuck in the center of the rectangle, a
cross stuck in, and then more rocks to finish it.
This village has lots of
people. They are born, smoke, play basketball, kill pigs for food, drink
corn liquor that smells like dirty underwear, get cataracts, cancer, and die all without worrying about whether their career trajectory is the most optimal use of their time, energy, enjoyment (probably).
This was good for me.
by cashious clay
parksville, British Columbia
April 3, 2004
From journal Catholicism and Basketball in Yunnan, China