THE GOLDEN LOTUS

Published February 16, 2019 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman is in the Jaingxi province of China. There are a few more photosheres available than the last time I went searching in this area. Hopefully you can find something that inspires you. I had trouble getting to this area through the main Google maps, but you are free to try for yourself.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the prompt. Whether you write fiction, poetry, sonnet, limerick or essay is completely up to you. Once your piece is polished, share it with others using the linkup below. Reading and commenting is part of the fun!

Thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting this weekly cruise.

During China’s Song Dynasty (970 – 1260), seen as property,  a woman’s sole purpose was to please her husband.  Officially sanctioned, foot-binding became the essence of feminine beauty. The smaller a woman’s foot, the better her chances of marrying well. The practice continued into the 20th century until China came under Communist rule.

To learn more CLICK HERE

It’s always fun to take on oldie out of mothballs and give it a fresh look. I first posted a version of this story in January 2013 for Friday Fictioneers.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

THE GOLDEN LOTUS

Bones bound and crushed in childhood, Zhen Xi’s feet fit a man’s palm. Such prized feet represented wealth and social status. Although the pain was often unbearable, she enjoyed the attention she garnered from the young men.

            It came as no surprise when her youthful beauty caught wizened warlord Han Donhai’s eye.

            She begged her father. “Please don’t make me marry him. Chan Ho is my true love.”

            “We are poor. It is not for you to love.”

            Every night she endured beatings following Han Donhai’s inadequacy. She feared she would ultimately suffer the same fate as three past wives who died under his sword for their failure to conceive.   

            Seven months after the wedding, fireworks spangled the sky in celebration of Donhai’s nine pound heir.

            Hours later he wielded his blade over her head. “You faithless whore!”                  

            She smiled. Her child would live while her unbound spirit ran free.

36 comments on “THE GOLDEN LOTUS

  • Superb story, Rochelle. I remember first reading about bound feet in Jame Clavell’s Tai Pan when I was a teenager. I didn’t understand then, and still don’t. However, I have heard some pretty sound arguments for arranged marriage every now and again.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Whenever I read about such practices, binding of feet, stretching of neck, I cannot help but wonder what crazy person came up with the idea in the first place. Oh hey, know what’s really appealing? A woman’s foot deformed after years of torture… I just shake my head and thank the powers that be that woke up and said: ‘Hey, this is really a disgusting practice…’
    Sorry, I rambled. You did a beautiful job with your story!!

    Shalom and Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Penny,

      I’d like to think the war lord brought up the child as his own since that was all he really wanted in the first place. He certainly doesn’t want his subordinates to know of his inadequacies. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Rochelle,

    My God, what savagery. These ancient rituals (and in some cases, ones still practiced .. unbelievably) really are the depths of humanity.

    Zhen Xi brings beautiful meaning to “Here in spirit”.

    Shalom,

    Marco

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Marco,

      Leave it to you to teach me something through my own writing. I’m not sure I looked up the meaning of the name to when I wrote the original story 6 years ago. It also means “Cherished” or “Precious.” Too bad she wasn’t cherished. For that matter, to put children through such agony is anything but loving. I boggles my mind that foot binding went on as long as it did. Horrors.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It means a lot.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • There are many things done in the name of beauty and that I do not understand, but I could NEVER understand or condone the torture of children. If an adult woman wants to mutilate her body in one way or another, it is her decision, but children have no such choice, and there is no way to explain or excuse in my view there is no other meaning for it but control, domination, power, and harm. Granted, once a practice becomes entrenched, the pain it inflicts may become dissociated by the parents (to help allay the guilt of tormenting their child, and/or revisiting their own rage at being tortured when young) but it does not make it any more reasonable. In fact, it only highlights the wrongness of it that it needs dissociating FROM.
    Sigh.
    And … domestic violence has been the mark of many a weak man.
    Beautifully done story of terrible realities. I’m glad she’s free, after a fashion.
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      I have to admit that even in today’s society, there are things I just don’t get…like making huge holes in the ears, piercing eyebrows and lips. Call me old fashion. But foot binding was cruel and definitely a form of child abuse…to girls, no less. Ironic that the warlord would blame his wives for his impotence. That’s not all that unusual in this day and age either. Thank you for your kind and comprehensive comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me verbose (a la comprehensive comments…) 😉
        But, yes, I agree. Women have been objectified and ‘kept in their place’ (sometimes literally) for many centuries all over the world; no doubt because those who fear to give women an equal footing (pun and all in this case) worry that they might not measure up (sorry… the associations are obviously taking over here).
        And … yes, there is no other way to describe deliberately breaking, re-breaking, twisting, crushing, binding, and forcing children to walk on broken feet, than to call it child abuse and child torture.
        UGH. I’m glad that practice, at least, is dead.
        Na’ama

        Like

  • Damn! That’s rough.

    I hate to look down on other cultures’ traditions, we’re far from perfect, but that’s horrible. I was raised in a household where my dad did equal cooking and dishes. It’s hard for me to imagine any human being another’s property. I know history’s full of it, but it still seems unimaginable to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      I feel the same way. Although I’m not all that crazy about some of the things going on in our own culture. Love it about your household. Growing up, my dad did most of the cooking in our house. It was his profession :D. Thank you so much for reading and leaving a nice comment,

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

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