Look After Your Mind

Look after your mind

The Brightest Star in the Heavens. A Salutary Tale.

Once upon a time there lived a man named Lu Yun.

He was the richest person in the land, and one of the most self-opinionated and boastful. Although many people flocked around him, even Lu Yun realised that this was because of his status and wealth. It so happened that one day, as Lu Yun was walking through the fruit market with his entourage. He spied a young woman at one of the stalls and fell instantly in love.

To him she seemed the brightest star in the heavens.

He sent one of his people to bring her over, But to his mild annoyance she finished serving a customer before joining him. Even so, he was stricken with the girl, whose name was Suki. He was delighted when she accepted his proposal of marriage.

They lived in Lu Yun’s magnificent palace, and Suki was showered with jewels and fine gowns. However, she missed her days in the market chatting with people. Everyone she met was either a servant, or else fawned over Lu Yun’s every word.

This caused some friction, because Suki had her own views and opinions. If they clashed with her husband’s, inflamed his temper, such that he shouted at her. Even so, he refused to divorce her because all around him said what a beautiful couple they made.

Not long afterwards a terrible plague swept the land..

and Suki was struck down. During her illness she told Lu Yun that she wanted just a simple tomb and simple inscription. ‘I am like a shooting star that blazes briefly. Keep me alive in your heart’.

Lu Yun had the tomb, a plain stone box, built in the grounds. However, as time went by he came to dislike the dullness and ordinariness of the thing. He ordered his builders to create a magnificent mausoleum around it. Even when it was finished, Lu Yun found he was dissatisfied. Insisting on extensions and additions until the building rivalled his own palace in its splendour.

Time passed and Lu Yun fell in love again, this time with a girl named Chyou.

He told her that she was the brightest star in the heavens and offered her marriage, which she accepted.

After their honeymoon, Lu Yun showed Chyou around his palace, and then the grandiose building in the grounds. Presently they came to the central chamber, aglitter with jewels and precious metals. Lu Yun swept his arm around the room. “I am going to have a glorious statue of us made and put here.” His face darkened, “After I get rid of that ugly little box.”

But Chyou had read the inscription carved on it.

She understood that the people who knew Suki would always remember her. That her name would live on long after Lu Yun had vanished into history.

Steve Bowkett.

More thoughtful articles: see Look After Your Mind, 23 November 2020; Look After Your Mind, December, 2020; Look After Your Mind – How Does the Mind Work, February 2021.