At the temple, there is a poem called "Loss" carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read Loss, only feel it.
The heart dies, a slow death,
shedding each hope like leaves...
... until one day there are none.
No hopes. Nothing remains.
She paints her face to hide her face.
Her eyes like deep water.
It is not for Geisha to want.
It is not for Geisha to feel.
Geisha is an artist
of the floating world.
She dances. She sings. She entertains you,whatever you want.
The rest is shadows. The rest is secret.
You cannot say to the sun “more sun,”
or to the rain “less rain.”
To a man Geisha can only be half a wife.
We are the wives of nightfall.
And yet to learn of kindness…
… after so much unkindness. To understand that
a little girl with more courage than she knew,
would find that her prayers were answered.
Can that not be called happiness?
After all, these are not the memoirs
of an empress, nor of a queen…
… these are memoirs of another kind.
~Memoirs of a Geisha~