This was written in response to day 26 of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason challenge. The quote was, “On some clear nights in the country the stars can exhaust us” ~ Jim Harrison
I saw stars every summer when I went camping. Late at night, my friends and I would like on top of a large rock, talking, looking up at the sky. Without the glaring artificial lights, we’d take in the amazing sight of a sky full of stars. We could not identity every constellation, but how amazing it was that there were so many, hidden when we were in the city!
I no longer go camping — the stars’ beauty is relegated to memory — but in some ways I am still resting on that rock as I remember:
Though we cannot see,
We have friends in high places
Looking down at us.
This poem was written in response to day 25 of Jill’s 28 Days of Unreason series. The quote for today is, “The river can’t heal everything” ~ Jim Harrison
I decided to write a haibun with a twist: instead of a haiku at the end, I wrote a tanka.
Also, this was posted for DVerse’s latest OLN.
There is a story in the Bible about a vision that the prophet Ezekiel had of a river in the temple: The water begins as a trickle and then rises as he walks along, to his ankles and then even higher. This water is the life of God, lived in the Spirit, quenching the most profound thirst.
But! Careful with me —
I yearn for this water; still
It rises over
My head, and only in dreams
Can I breathe underwater.
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.
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.
I debated whether to post this or not. Linked to DVerse’s latest open link night.
This was written in response to DVerse’s haibun free for all. The topic was pretty much anything that actually happened to you.
It was a waterfall: the clove-spiced oil streaming down my face, from just above my head, through my long hair, even into my mouth as it journeyed down my chin, on to the waiting white towel around my shoulders. It was wonderful, this ceremony, being sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and my whole family celebrating. Family, friends, and even strangers commenorating this step: I have decided to follow Jesus, even to a new place.
Arid summer day,
Living water courses through
Souls, brought together.
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
I focus on peace within
While the sun’s shining.
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.