Godspeed Stéphanie!

rooftop sunset
(c) Clr’19 Rooftop sunset on de Gaspé, Mile End

Another person’s leaving and I can’t help but feel sad today, thinking back on that sparkle in her eyes when she first started. Watching the complicities and banters her night team had together was touching. Enjoying her photos of vacation spots exploring the world with her partner, was my way of living vicariously through a select few people I admire here.

And as if, those eyes could not take ‘shimmer’ to another level, blossoming into a beautiful woman and mother. For those who ‘get it’ when you look at your child and your heart wants to burst through your chest, there is so much love there, one could see this so clearly on her whole being as well.

Something changes dramatically when you have a child. Seeing her reminded me how those days when I returned to work with my first born. Work took second place and slowly I became to carve a new path for myself… a turning point that took a long time but brought me to my place, my passion, I still have today.

Over time, that sparkle dimmed in her eyes when she returned and I could see how she too was slowly weaving a new tapestry that would include her true self, her family and her passion. A place to breathe and feel valued and recognize the light around her again. And so, selfishly I am sad to see her go, I truly, get it.

This time it is not a new chapter but a new book. Remember how those first pages are gleaming and welcome a new story?  This is her new narrative etched with her passion and dedication to herself, her family and to those new souls who will benefit from her professionalism, her expertise, her savoir-faire and mostly her kindness.

summer waves goodbye
autumn announces change, yet…
vibrant and alive

Godspeed, Stéphanie!

© Tournesol ‘19/09/20

September 20 2019 Daily moments, Godspeed Stéphanie Haibun

True beauty comes within(a cherita & memoirs) Daily reflections

How many more need to go? Who else will leave her on her own?

A friend once said, it is like being in an abusive relationship. Yes, sort of, but she sees it more as living in a huge family home with extended family…you know, moms, dads, grandparents, uncles, aunts and children which include all the siblings and cousins. (Most of the children are pretty consistent with their values but there is always a bad apple…un cousin de la fesse gauche sort of.

You get her drift? Nod twice if you do and stop reading if you don’t because if you don’t get it, the rest of this will be way way over your head.   You know, those who no longer know right from wrong or blinded with the public image and their vanity.

It is like living on a farm with many different houses…but ONLY the parents, grandparents and uncles and aunts run the show. Okay, there may be “in law” that can also poison the crops…this is possible.

Some of the adults were nice but most (not all) of the nice ones died and went to heaven. Now the evil ones remain because they thrive longer feeding on indifference, vanity, ambition and greed.

Fortunately, the children were raised in the back fields to fend on their own and the opposite is what they live which is compassion and selflessness. Their goal to be there for the younger siblings…to fend for them, be their voice and if they leave, they must find a stronger group to replace them and continue the war on crime between compassion and apathy and other battles between truth and deceit.

She thinks of the people she can count on and there are a few uncles and aunties that do “their godlike thing” in the shadows…being there to support the young so the true field (frontline) workers can have the tools to persevere. It is an important job…a “must do” job. She is still at “can do”…for now.

Life drops obstacles along your path but the challenge is to do the best you can while you are still in this vicinity and then leave. Your mark, your values and your inspiration will linger and continue help those remaining …giving them a model and this will go on and on and on …

Even if there are fewer and fewer, good souls do not have to change…you need not let the evil change you to be like them…when you find yourself slipping into moments of apathy and numbness, fickleness and weakness, then it is time to leave. Your goodness will still enrich the earth as the children till the soil in the backfields (front line) of the farm.

(A cherita ~ micropoetry)

From the bottom of the muddy waters, a lotus rose

Such delicate beauty shall not be defiled
Thick muck remains at the bottom of the pond

Strength stems from truth
Compassionate petals of perfection
Such real beauty is divine

© Tournesol ‘19/09/10

Daily Moments September 10. 2019

cousin de la fesse gauche: an expression meaning a cousin removed so many times, they are no longer really related.

simmering memories Haibun Daily Moments August 27 2019

© clr Grand-Maman 2014

After spending a relaxing day reading, she decided to prepare her dinner.  Looking in the fridge, she was  lacking inspiration.  Groceries were in need, she sighed, yet she wanted to wait since she had busted her budget already two weeks ago.  She found broccoli stems she had saved, a bag of baby carrots, left over small potatoes that would spoil soon and of course her trusty jar of minced garlic.  Looking up at her vegetable and fruit basket hanging next to the pantry, she took two onions.

She fried the garlic, then onions then filled the pot with water and the chopped vegetables added several heaping tablespoons of beef bouillon, adding spices here and there and let it come to a boil.  Of course she added Worcestershire sauce…it was one staple in her recipes along with a dash or two or three of curry.  She stirred, adding more spices but thought she might wait a while to allow the ingredients to savour the concoction she was making.  She preferred to call it ETF (Empty The Fridge) soup.  But in the past few months there was less and less to empty.  Her fridge was sparse and that was partly trying to follow her more humble budget and also she was tired of throwing away food if she had not got around to cook.  Living alone means not over buying and calculating just enough “in case” family drop by.  Although, her timing was never that great either in those instances.  She tried to keep some things she had cooked in the freezer since she usually cooked enough for at least eight persons.

She stirred the bubbling vegetable liquid and lowered the heat to simmer.  She realized she needed to add more water so she transferred the pot to a bigger pot and then she added lentils she had rinsed several times to the stock.  As she added a few more dashes of this and that, she could not help but think of her GrandMaman.  How she wished she would have been more interested in cooking as a young adult and spent more time cooking with her.  She saw her cook as a teenager but once she married and left home, she rarely watched her do her magic in the kitchen.  She was such an amazing cook too.  The only thing she got down almost perfect was her turkey dressing.  And that was just by tasting, adding this and that and tasting over and over until it tasted like Christmas a long long time ago growing up.

She stirred absent mindedly, rapt in her thoughts that  brought her back in time. Perhaps that was why cooking was so comforting for many people.

swirls of broth
waves in a tin pool
bubbling with stories

listening to her old stories
turn of the last century

washboards and lye soap
horses pulling bread and milk
times of yore

© Tournesol ‘19/08/27

this side of the glass Haibun Daily moments August 23 2019

Funny how insulated one becomes when confined indoors. Insulated rather than isolated because it feels safe. Only the hum of her air purifier and soft snores of her cat keep her company. Looking out the window, leaves flutter with life, birds communicate from tree to tree and yet here, it’s like a different world. It’s safe here and no expectations from anyone.

She was up most of the night coughing and once that was calmed temporarily, little hammers started doing their thing just to make her life less boring. She finally managed to sleep a few more hours in the morning and her hacking cough startled even her. Another week before any doctor would consider giving her medication or believe that her lungs were clogged. She could hear a rumble when she inhaled and a faint whistle from her chest when she exhaled. She wasn’t too worried but annoyed that it had been disturbing her sleep all week.
Fortunately, she had been on vacation this passed week, so rest was the main remedy and she took advantage of that.

a different world
moving outside her window
rushing here and there
I spy with my little eye
on this side of the glass

© Tournesol ’19-08-23

endings and losses Free Verse

Today I learned that a very special person in my life will be leaving…going far away and it saddens me very much. Loss is part of everyday life. I know that but it doesn’t make it any easier. My first reaction is sadness, then anger at whoever pushed someone away, then sadness again and I swim in that for quite some time. Sometimes guilt creeps up if I think of what I should have, could have sad when he was in my life and then I dive back down to sadness…so as I wallow in my grief this is what I have to say…

losses and endings not easy to take
saying goodbye makes my heart break

we experience loss every day, every minute
ooos there goes by a minute already!

spiritual gurus keep telling us
to be present, remain in the now
it takes many losses and defeats
to come to a place of now
to finally understand what the gurus say
enjoy each precious moment of the day

losses and endings not easy to take
saying goodbye makes my heart break

tell your friend she is pretty
thank your colleague for their support
tell your manager how helpful he has been
just don’t waste precious time away
enjoy each priceless moment of the day

losses and endings not easy to take
saying goodbye makes my heart break

tell your son how special his is
tell your daughter how
you wish you were strong like her
thank your mother for everything
that you have taken to help you strive
tell your father how you feel
just don’t waste precious time away
enjoy each priceless moment of the day

remember the good times
you’ve shared with friends and family
discard the bad times
once you’ve learned from them
even when you say goodbye
to a dear friend
their memory is always with you
right there in the crux of your heart
no one can take that away from you
even after you’ve said goodbye

losses and endings not easy to take
saying goodbye makes my heart break
so just don’t waste precious time away
enjoy each priceless moment of the day
embrace your loved ones
like it’s your very last day.

© Cheryl-Lynn 20/08/2019

Chapter 2 of Emily’s autobiography (troibun)

Emily does not remember much of the unpleasant and scary for some reason. It’s like ghosts in the back of her brain. The good, happy, loving images are so vivid and when the ghosts try to poke at her and get to the forefront, she is never sure what is real. The details are blurred. She sees a little girl sitting on the steps at the back of her house, sulking or weeping for “no reason”.

“I’ll give you something to really cry about!” screams in her brain…a buckle on a belt flashes and then blackness.

Recalling unpleasant and scary is like trying to pick up a lost penny on the pavement with your toes.

Then feeling the warm, loving hugs and her soothing voice…remembering her comforting embrace is her safety net.

memories
floating in and out
dream catcher

memories
fragmented stories
and blurred lines

floating in and out
latching on like…
bloodsuckers

dream catcher
recalling soothing hues
tangible – love

(c) tournesol ’19/08/15

What would you write in Chapter 2 of your life story?

on letting go …a cherita and haiku

(a cherita)

piling into tired vessels

inequity tears the sails
weary canvas fails

sea engulfs each evil deed
greedy and voracious
quenched with every nightmare

~

aquarius moon so full and bright

beams light up the sea
watching ancient sins

sinking to dark depths
way beneath the sea
labroides feast

(haiku)

nightmares capsize
into the cold dark sea
death becomes them

(c) Tournesol ’19/08/15

 

Daily moments – reflections on letting go and change – August 15th, full moon

 

Life is not timeless…

Happy Birthday, Aunt Mae!

Celebrating
90 years of true
living

(c) Clr ‘August 13, 2019

 

Originally written August 12, 2013

Art by Mae Roberts Giroux

Returning from a lovely birthday celebration for my Aunt Mae, my head was swimming with thoughts on my return home by train on this 13th day of August 2013.

It is a solemn day today;  I’ve felt blessed being with people who changed my life; people who encouraged me when no one else did; people who believed in me and offered me the sanctuary of their home  so I could save first and last month’s rent when I started a new life in a new city 400 miles from home.  People who had not been in my life for almost 30 years and yet never hesitated to offer their unconditional support! They never judged me; nor did they expect anything in return!

They invented “paying it forward”!

Meet my Aunt M who is my father’s sister; she lived too far most of her adult life to be privy to family drama and stories;  she was busy raising her family, making her way and a wonderful way of life she did as well.

She is an amazing mother who raised three fine sons…3 fine men…3 fine cousins…three fine creative souls!  She is an amazing wife, who followed her husband across the country and enjoyed every minute with the man she loved. She encouraged and supported his decision when he too returned to university so he could change his career for the second part of his life.  She is a grandmother, aunt, wife, artist, mother-in-law, model and mentor in life.

She is an amazing friend who never forgets any friend she has encountered along the way on her life’s travels…just check out her monthly postal and cards’ expenses!

She is an amazing person who embodies goodness…volunteers, is always there to help, contributes for events that entail fun(oh, how she loves to play) she is always available to chip in at potlucks, bring the best peanut butter cookies to friends and friends of her children who have to move; she is there to help at parties, special events and people of all ages just love her!

Mae Roberts Giroux,
Oakville, On.
© Painting by Mae Roberts Giroux,

One of her very first paintings by Mae Roberts Giroux

Mae Roberts Giroux
https://www.facebook.com/mae.giroux/photos

 

Photo: CLR – art by Mae Giroux, Oakville, Ontario

She is an amazing “ma tante” who gave selflessly and proudly…merci, Ma Tante!  She is an amazing and accomplished artist …creating beauty for the past 70+ years The profile pic on this blog is ONE of her many paintings she has created, she sculpts as well, draws, does stain-glass, teaches art …multi-media and so much more!


To my amazing Uncle F (Mr. G) who is an amazing father!  He raised 3 sons to be 3 amazing husbands, 2 amazing loving fathers! He nurtured them, played with them and gave them guidance…he is a father, a dad , grandfather, uncle, friend, and a mentor.  I always envied my cousins for having the most amazing dad on this planet…and I am thankful to have been blessed with his tender love, wise guidance and fatherly support…he was the dad who loaned me his shoulders for support when my heart was broken, and his insights when I was at a crossroad. Thank you, Uncle F!

He is an amazing husband who encouraged his wife to grow and develop her creative side at an art college in her middle years, and as well, later on, he pursued a second career in improving the lives of people, who volunteers to this day and continues to help people in need. He is a loving grandfather, father-in-law, uncle and model/mentor to look up to.

I love them so much and today we had a pleasant and sombre rendezvous.  I was looking at two people whom I love very much… aging…and yes, it is part of life’s cycle…I get it!

I choked with sadness and longing as I heard my uncle comment calmly, rocking in his chair, “We are getting closer to the summit of our horizon”.  I looked at him in awe…maybe I saw an aura…this warm kind man radiating so much wisdom!

Later during our lovely lunch I was thrilled listening to my aunt giggle to a comment I had made.  She was still 16 inside that body…this body who still swam twice weekly doing 42 lengths each time…this woman who did her 15 minutes of exercises every morning she was still swimming at the age of 84!  {Yes, I have so much to look up to and learn from and have yet to get off said lazy butt and do some of this to stay healthy!}

How I loved to discuss issues of medical or mental health nature with my uncle.  To discuss books he has read…he who is still a member of book club at the age of 85.  This man still volunteers and reads and is so vibrant and alive despite his frail body that refuses to retain iron and whose bones are so fragile…and yet, he still pushes himself to stay active.  How I love him and admire him.

Uncle Fred & Aunt Mae

How I loved to attend art shows where my aunt hung several pieces of her art and she still continues to expose her art this week at 3 places in the city including City Hall.  What an amazing artist! How I loved to go shopping especially taking advantage of those “great sales” on shoes!! She always made me feel like her other daughter…so much more than her niece. And to Uncle F, he too made me feel like his extra daughter…somehow there was always room in both their hearts for me…and that makes me weep happy tears.

And so I am soaking up this unique and special  love I feel for them and they have for me…and know I want to try to come more frequently to see them…for the days, the months, the years are limited …

my heart swells
thinking
people who matter

© Clr ‘2013/08/13

Daily reflections April 27 2019 a brick of guilt A Cherita


 
Missing two years of her life feels like an eternity 

Losing those first kisses and breaking curfew
Butterflies and broken hearts 
 
Can never recapture those years 
Guilt multiplied by a ten 
Remorse will weigh her to her grave 
 
~~~ 
 
Feeling her rage bubbling under-skin

Passive aggressive innuendos 
Violence escalates in overindulgence 
 
Never a confrontation 
Too scared to fess up and break in pieces 
Still ignoring that fucking elephant 

(c) Cheryl-Lynn  27/04/19