There was once a day during my internship in Japan when a co-worker came to me and said she had to leave because her grandmother had just passed away. Though my Japanese was okay, I was not familiar enough with the custom to know what to say, and I was not the best with words anyhow; even in English it is hard to know what to say in such circumstances. I said to her “cheer-up” but that was it, and she had to leave so that left little time for comforting.
I thought about buying her flowers or making origami roses to give her upon her return, but I wasn’t sure if giving paper flowers would be inappropriate. So I asked my mother’s opinion and questioned whether there were certain colors or types of flowers that are more appropriate for such occasions, or things I should avoid. She said in Japan they would use white for this kind of case, and if I could make white lilies it would be appropriate. So that is what I did, and I gave the paper lilies to my co-worker when she returned. So in the end, though my words could not come through, my sorrow was expressed.
My lips disappears in the back while the lilies light up brightly in front. My mouth is closed and silent, but the lilies made by my hands bloom a thousand words.
Taken with an Olympus FE-220 on July 14, 2008
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