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The story behind the photo.

The morning after a smoggy rainy day, life awakes into a still blue tranquility of the Lake Kawaguchi. Life here is simple and enjoyed in the slow lane. It's peaceful. The quick shortcut to mindfulness.

Induced in a therapeutic experience of the "blue space", the fisher man goes down to the lake every morning to catch some black bass. He has never gotten over the mesmerising power of the mountain, contrasted with the fluidity and purity of the water.

The water greets him with a waver. She's compassionate to him. She listens and understands.

"Give me a sign" the fisher man said. "I've been waiting for eternity". Yet he received no answer, no movement, not the smallest sign.

There are other people on the lake, one man rides in a boat also looking to catch some fish. However our fisher man has no interest in others, he is so deeply zoned onto the waves of the water, that nothing else around him matters.

The next morning he heads down again. This time a storm is brewing, and rain begins to fall. He starts to pack his fishing rod, his bait, his bucket, and his catch, when he fells something appear behind him.

It is her.

She sits there, softly surrounded by smog, a beauty, playing the Biwa, with a white snake in her impressive headdress. She lifts up her voice, and chants the chant of the bitterness of the storm - creating sounds like the straining of oars and the rushing of ships, the whirr and the hissing of arrows, the shouting and trampling of men, the crashing of thunder, the plunging of slain in the flood.

As she finishes, she extends her hand.

And in the foggy weather, he follows her, unable to return again. They jump into the lake, drowning together.


This short story is inspired by Benzaiten: the white snake goddess of Japan.

Benzaiten is a Japanese water goddess of fertility and flow—of rivers and waters, language and poetry, music, dance, and abundant wealth and good fortune.

White snakes are associated with water (especially rivers). They are powerful and potentially frightening. Thanks to their ability to continually shed their skin and be reborn, these serpents are known as shape shifters in Japanese mythology and can live to be thousands of years old, able to walk between the underworld, heaven, and the human world.


© 2018 by DASHA STARR.