Dawn Red­wood

Room Magazine - - CONTENTS - VANESSA LENT

Thought a ghost for five mil­lion years

Dawn Red­wood re-emerged a Hol­ly­wood star­let in the midst of World War Two— the threat of war ig­nit­ing a chain re­ac­tion from Chi­nese aris­to­crats who prod­ded the re­mote ar­eas of their coun­try look­ing for pro­tec­tion in her shel­ter­ing limbs.

Known to those with sci­en­tific eyes only through stone im­pres­sions of fan­ning, pray­ing arms yet hon­oured ev­ery day by those who also root in mo-tao-chi.

Known once as shui-shan—wa­ter-fir— in­ter­wo­ven with shrine and prayer, her ghost re-cor­po­re­al­ized in gar­dens and parks across the western world

(with the trans­plant her name trans­formed from wa­ter to fire

achiev­ing the de­sired ap­peal).

She grew as quickly as her fame, each fall shock­ing with bright burning blush.

Seventy years on, now a grand dame drip­ping with hon­ours— she will, when prod­ded, ad­mit to mo­ments of de­sired re­turn to her wa­tery roots the whis­per of prayer and the shel­ter of cer­e­mony.

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