Imperfect and Perfect

Today at DVerse, we are writing haibuns based on the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, which is described as “the art of imperfection.”


I look at a chipped teacup, a broken seashell, cracks in the concrete, even a dying flower and see beauty: poignant, ineffable, intriguing, unique. On every piece of nature are God’s fingerprints, infinite. Let me extend this knowledge to my own body, a temple of personal, imperfect and perfect beauty.

 

Springtime’s trees flower,

Jacaranda’s purple blooms

Dress the cracked sidewalk.

Ugly Art

This poem was inspired by a few different things: firstly by Jill’s poem about this quote,

“Art often isn’t [nice] though it scrubs the soul fresh”

~ Jim Harrison

And also the quote itself, as well as some collages that I made several years ago. I enjoy making collages and used to create them often. I think that the visuals very effectively express the ways in which I am feeling, and looking at the collages brings me back to the place I was when I made them.

These collages were both made a few years ago, before I got treatment for my eating disorder. Without further ado, here is the poem inspired by them.

“Ugly Art”

These works of art are not pretty:

Collages with papers ripped

From their places on magazine pages.

Passive faces staring, pointing

Out my inadequacies, and hiding behind

A mask I cry mascara tears

And can’t relax, can’t you see

My confidence is gone, smiles pasted on?

Worst Case

I signed my name, and an unspecified amount of time, away. I was scared, terrified, in unfamiliar territory, solo. I had sunk so low: emaciated body, crippling anxiety around eating, heightened fear and a sunken face. But this was not the worst-case scenario.

For I had been afraid of dying in my sleep and leaving my twin solo. I did not want to die but had become so afraid of true life. I was afraid of the unspecified fight in front of me, yet knew I could not live without refeeding, without facing fears that were killing me.

 

Grass peeks through concrete.

Water flows over large stones.

Dandelions blown.

 

I debated whether to post this or not. Linked to DVerse’s latest open link night.

Love, Your Body

Good morning! This is the body

That will be with you today.

I will be with you all day,

So I hope we can stay

Friends, and not get into arguments.

I know you don’t always agree

With me, but I want to be

With you, so I’m hoping

We can go do something fun

Today, something we will love.

 

I have unconditional love for you,

When you don’t give me much I do

What I can with the little I get.

This is love: Let me talk to you,

And walk together to greater

Things, a reborn way of living.

 

For just like you, I just want to be

Loved, and every part of us

Is made of and by Love,

So please, so not be afraid of me.

I want you to achieve

Beyond your wildest dreams,

 

Love,

Your Body


Shared with Dverse’s open link night

Summer

With summer having just arrived, our haibun challenge at DVerse this time has to do with summer. This was a challenge for me, but I tried to be open and honest. As a person who struggles with anorexia and low body image, summer is a hard season because of the ubiquitous messages about starting a summer diet, losing weight, and getting a “beach body.” In the past, it was particularly difficult, but this year, all of those messages are more annoying than tempting, at least for me. This summer, it is going to be different for me.


Summer. Swimsuit season. Everybody seems obsessed with a beach body, as if the beach cares what types of bodies flock to it. As if a human is no more than his or her body. People say they have to get in shape, like they’re a square peg trying to shove themselves into a tiny circular space. But does the water care what shape it flows around? Do the waves beat up on people the way beachgoers beat up on themselves?

No. And I won’t play that game, either, because even though it’s summer, with

Temperatures warming,

I focus on peace within

While the sun’s shining.

Haibun: Sport

This week’s haibun prompt was to write about sports. I am not a big fan of sports, so this was rather difficult to get inspiration for, but I like what came out of being open to this. Though I am not into team sports, I did karate for about 12 years when I was younger, and nowadays I really like activities such as yoga and hiking.


My brothers and I started doing karate when we were young, 8 and 12 years old. I often enjoyed class but didn’t think I was following my passions, since, from the beginning, I wanted to take dance. However, my brothers liked karate, so — two against one — I was outvoted. In my teenage years, karate became a place of self-criticism for me, yet I couldn’t bear to leave. At the ages of 19 and 20, with an eating disorder developing, over-exercising became a snare to me. Finally, I had no choice but to give up karate and start fighting the scariest and strongest enemy I’d ever encountered: Monsters in my own mind. And I’m still fighting but am training and gaining strength every day.

 

Summer turns to fall,

Black belt becomes a novice,

New, personal strength.

Ottava Rima

On DVerse today, we are experimenting with a form called ottava rima.

This form has 8 lines per stanza, with the rhyme scheme abababcc. Ottava rima poems can have any number of stanzas; the one that I wrote today has only one stanza, but that’s okay!

As many of my other poems describe, I have struggled with anorexia for several years, and that struggle and what I have been learning inspired today’s poem. It focuses on appearance, body image, and the culture of dieting, though I know very well that eating disorders are about much more than simply wanting to look a certain way, and they are much more complicated than a diet that went too far. Still, I think that the culture today, which focuses so much on external looks and a skewed idea of fitness, contributes to the formation of eating disorders and to the difficulty of letting them go.


Why put our bodies through the hell we do,

Always trying to change the way we look?

My soul’s own house was forced to go through

Untold pain, which nearly took

Away my life, and years to even begin to

Undo the damage: My own self I forsook.

To free you from the same unhappy fate,

Flee, my friend, from comparison and hate.