If you visited here on Wednesday, you might remember that I wrote a little sonnet about writing which lies hidden in the depths of an old laptop, and whether it’s better to leave it untouched or to go back for a revisit. Well, in the interest of full disclosure I can share here that I took the second option and went back to some old writing for a revisit.
What stood out for me is the haibun that I’m sharing here. It was written to document what was an ordinary day for me at the time ~ a day as an aspiring poet and blogger, and mother to two primary school aged sons. Even as I was writing, I vaguely wondered what the point of the exercise was. It was just my everyday life and of little interest in its ordinariness. But on revisiting this little piece, I am so grateful (as the mother of a 14 and 19 year old now) that I wrote through the fear that I was boring, and documented that morning in it’s simplicity. Although those days had their struggles and lows, revisiting this poem brings me right into the sweetness and immediacy of a long ago walk to school with those little boys, who are now young men.
I’ll never be able to relive the honey of their childhood days in any other way than reading these words. This reminds me of one more joy of life as a writer. I can cherish the ordinary, knowing that one say it will seem anything but that.
The way we were(!)
Process (A Haibun)
Today was such a cold morning, fingers numb even under my burgundy gloves, breathing frost at the children, warming my hands under theirs. The eldest telling me he knows rhymes for orange (syringe, cringe, fringe) but that purple proves more difficult (we settle for half rhymes chirping, turtle, hurdle). The littlest is happiest singing nonsense rhymes of his first name, gets cross when we try to make choices that make sense. He wants true rhymes, semantics are less important to his poetic sensibility.
We select the words
closest to meaning: he sings
the sounds that ring free.
We are walking together, quickly, quickly down the hill and its frosty flagstones. There is never much time in the mornings – today my hair is still wavy and full of spray from yesterday, scraped into a bunch, my fringe bouncing to a curl at the front (cringe?), my eyes peeping out under a single layer of mascara.
Today the ritual
of a respectable face
is beyond me.
All the time we are walking, talking together, I am thinking of the contents of my ruby red shopper – the camera and the i-pod. Today on the way back from school, when my little hand warmers are tucked up safely in the stifling heat of their classrooms, I will be abandoned to walk the streets back home alone. And even when I walk in the company of the children, delighting in their inquisition, and their silliness, and the beauty of their faces that makes me ache, something in me is anticipating that impending moment I will walk from the school gates alone, my heart soaring to be alone again, in its natural state.
Under winter trees
I learned to love, and found
how to be alone.
With a casual wave from my eldest boy, in his oversized insulated gloves (how I’d love to kiss him – but it is forbidden in the presence of his peers) and then a flurry of tiny cold kisses on my lips from my littlest, we have said goodbye, and I stand leaning against the wall of the school building, waiting for the door to shut, rooting in my bag for my i-pod, unknotting its wires as I catch a last glimpse of olive green coat. As I stride towards the gates, alone in a playground full of mothers who will not be writing haiku today, I ask the question ‘What does this year hold for me?’ and press the shuffle button. It is as good a way as divining as any other. It is all in the interpretation, the four songs – past, present, future, outcome – the Apple tarot.
Searching for life’s answers
divining at a shuffle –
songs full of my heart.
Today the songs seem to tell me that things will be the same, that what I search for is already here, in the things I refuse to accept because I am always searching outside of myself. The sky is huge and a beautiful ice blue, the colour of husband’s eyes, and I cannot remember the last time my face felt so cold. My feet hit the greying pavement over and over and their movement keeps them warm. My gloved hands twiddle in the pockets of my coat no way for them to get so warm, no smaller hands to hide unconvincingly behind now. At the end of my street I reach into my bag, shedding those insubstantial gloves, to find my camera, to take a picture of the road signs ‘Follow the diversions’, just in front and under a small whirl of blue and white arrows (raising a smile) ‘Humps for 600 yards ahead’. But the batteries to my camera are flat, and the spares too. Everything has a reason but for now I try not to divine.
Answers are hard work
now that I’m suspecting
the question was wrong.
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