Daily moments April 1 2020 spring break

Her thoughts are swimming, sometimes riding waves and landing safely but other times engulfed with such an overflow.

worker’s report card
new class of spring vacation
humility cruise

Storing these performance statistics in a safe place behind the cat litter, she finds a way to disconnect. There are plans to escape in novels and write. Unburdening her heart and try to see the blue sky and listen to the sparrows gossip each morning about the bossy raven.

© Tournesol 2020/04/01

A yellow van (troibun)

No alarms this morning…it is her day off. A sleep disturbed by dread and worry forces her to dive under her duvet giving her a sense of false security. It’s time to get up. No sounds in the stairwell like in the old “normal”. All in their own time now…a slower pace, a screaming silence in the halls.

Such a restless night worrying about her work yesterday. No matter how much she kept repeating, “Let it go, ride the wave and let it go”, it still stuck to her. And so she decides to look over her notes from yesterday and emails. Such a relief to humbly realize she had misinterpreted one message and a smile starts forming on her face.

She begins to write a letter of thanks to her managers for the support they have given her and her colleagues in the past ten days. It has been challenging to work from home for so many especially those with children. How to keep them busy…how to keep the teens at home without going stark raving mad?!

Looking at her street, she notices the odd cyclist braving the cold at 3C but the forecast is supposed to go up to 11 mid-day. Yes, she might go out for a walk later and wear only her Sketchers rather then winter boots…such a treat to walk in lighter footwear!

A yellow van with flashing lights parks in front of her building…her heart flip flops wondering who and what is happening? Is there a person who is sick? Is it Covid19 or something else? She dares not open her door to see in the hallway but peaks through the peephole and sees masked paramedics on her floor!  Later she sees them wheeling out a woman from her floor…

Image may contain: outdoor
(c)Clr ‘2020/03/26

She just  may not go out today…

a jogger
passing a cyclist
life goes on

a jogger
mentally balanced
physically fit

passing a cyclist
leaning on a walking stick
a man shuffles slowly

life goes on
a women in labour
cry of a newborn

© Tournesol ‘2020/03/26

Dally moments March 26th 2020 a yellow van troibun

Cycling in snowsuits…only in Canada! (haibun) Daily Moments March 8 2020

Cycling in snowsuits…only in Canada!

Watching people walking to the park, she knew she must get out.  Shut-in all day yesterday was just to nurse a cold and making excuses that she must not venture out into the public; but what about just going out for fresh air?  But of course, that would be good for her both physically and emotionally.

She opened the windows of her condo  for half an hour or so every day but that was not enough.  She knew her mental state was stuck in mud that had dried up…sort of.  A must to go out and see people!  Tomorrow she would be hearing people and their trials and tribulations; trying to instill hope to continue on one more day or two.  Indeed, she must go out.

Contemplating this, she saw two bicycles go by! One adult was dragging another bike with training wheels and  another tiny bike was following behind.  The children were dressed in snow pants and big bike helmets. [She wonders if a tuque fit under those big plastic headdresses.]  Those big mittens must make it tricky to steer the bike too!  Ah, bicycles with toddlers and children going for a Sunday ride…that surely is a sign that spring is around the corner!

 

sunny skies rule
just above point of freezing
luring shut-ins out!

 

sunny skies rule
painting curves on stiff muscles
bidding them to smile

 

just above point of freezing
daring to remove their tuques
wind blows in their hair

 

luring shut-ins out!
young and old find delight
spring is almost here

 

watching with renewed energy
from her living room window

 

slips on coat and boots
stepping into brisk cool air
twinkle in her eyes

 

© Tournesol ‘08/03/2020

Daily Moments 3/ 8/2020   Cycling in snowsuits~  only in Canada  H aibun

riding the waves (haibun)

I read a poem written by Sreejit Poole from TheSeekersDungeon and it poked my muse this morning.  I just love when that happens!    TheSeekersDungeon  

***

Another grey winter (when will this season end?) Will I be engulfed again by the same dark waves or will  I try to ride them today?

I find snippets of joy when I look at my bff’s (best feline friends)…Bette who is growing like me (older, slower and fatter) and Kali, who makes me smile and frown all in one gesture. Today I will try to seek those milliseconds while riding those waves.

waking up
feels like gasping for air
wish me back to sleep

mind will just not heed
always stubbornly
poking at me

riding the waves
i try to float above
repeating my mantra

over and over
sacred and compassionate
i see her smiling

sadness looms
pushing me underwater
at least, i fall asleep

so many stories
performing in my mind
or is it a dream?

peering from one eye
another wave is coming
quickly i must dive
beneath softness and safety
my downy duvet

shifting faithfully
mantra to Hail Mary’s
urging theta waves

slipping into delta
images and narratives
distract me

shifting now and then
altering my perception
some dreams make me smile

was this a dream?
my mind is playing tricks
real’s overrated
who cares if this is fiction?
my frown turned upside down!

Shuffling from my bedroom, I’m greeted by Bette who seems to frown a bit. She’s sulking me these days because I will not let her come in my bedroom anymore. I’m tired of cleaning so much fur that weaves into the fabric of all my bedding. Kali comes racing out and flops down at my feet causing me to stop or else I might trip. She’s like a puppy rather than a feline. She follows me everywhere and sometimes races ahead of me wanting to play.

Once I sit with my coffee, Bette sits on a bench next to my chair and waits for me to pet her. This morning she refused to give me the “loving look”. You know when you look at a cat and slowly close and open your eyes…your feline friend usually closes their eyes to show they love you. Nope, not today, she’s still sulking me.

Kali drapes herself upon my chest like a universal scarf. Her loud purrs soothe me as if to help counteract the effects of my cup of java. World Health Organization should add felines as good for one’s health to lower blood pressure. I cannot help but smile at both my feline friends this morning, who simply “are” and their presence makes me feel like I am wrapped in silk and velvet.

watching them relax
waiting for the sun to peak
behind winter clouds

my furry friends
teaching me so patiently
how “to be”

 

(c) Tournesol ‘ 2020/03/06

 

Daily Moments – March 6  2020 – riding the waves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

transporting notes ~ Troibun ~ Feb 18 2020 Daily Moments

Sitting in front of the t.v. screen, she flips from one video to the next and finds nothing to capture her attention. It has been a long day. Day two of busyNESS, Day two of SadNESS, Day two of various fires to try and put out and yet…the day feels unfulfilled. There is the person who hung up too soon because someone walked in on them; there’s the person whose phone died and you never had a chance to see if he’s safe and the list goes on. All in a day’s work, some say…who the hell says that anyway?

Switching to music seems more healing…starting with Satie Song by Alanna-Marie Boudreau, then Kimbra’s Cameo Lover and Sara Bareilles’s Gravity. Lastly, she listens to one of her favourites, Damien Rice’s Accidental Babies…aww, total bliss! It is amazing how music can truly transform you.

She is reminded of a youth now who is a musician playing classical and jazz. How fortunate she is to do the work she does do. How blessed she is to hear their stories and to be the ear that hears those secrets they disclose for the first time…they actually dared to say “out loud”. Such courage they have had to gather to reach out for support.

Before the end of her evening, she listens to  one more song, Damien’s Rootless Tree…

 

sighing softly
thinking of those classical notes
cut at her heartstrings

sighing softly
recalling her soft voice
vulnerable and frayed

thinking of those classical notes
only ivory keys can articulate
such pain

cut at her heartstrings
images of doom and gloom
unearthed and naked

© Tournesol 2020/02/18

transporting notes Troibun Feb 18 2020 Daily Moments

Boudreau’s Satie Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppOvD4Egbno

Kimbra’s Cameo Lover https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaTEySLiLmc

Bareilles’s Gravity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEXhAMtbaec

Damien’s Accidental Babies https://youtu.be/ELTVP4aqWAI

Damien’s Rootless Tree https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1V6u3jdxwc

pre-dawn delight (haibun)

On my way to work yesterday at 6:30 A.M. I could not help but notice the sky.  Of course it was still dark but my eye was drawn to that gorgeous thin slice of a moon.

Mischievous wink
In the predawn sky
one swift brush stroke

Like a message in a bottle
My precious crescent moon

And then to make the day even more perfect, I see my daughter on the bus with her partner.  Working evenings for the past 10 years, I have missed so much!  What a way to start my day seeing my beautiful princess and my son in law.  That added a little skip and a jump to my  walk from the Métro to the office, alright!

early morning shift
a bounce in each step
a mother’s heart swells

(c) Tournesol ‘2019-12-24

 

reflections on empowerment – daily moments Dec 7/19

A story keeps sneaking to the forefront of her consciousness. For 2 hours he talked about his plan that could be accessible anytime he wanted.   The scary thing about it was that he could make it look like an accident and no one would ever be the wiser. Writing about it today actually appeases her compared to last week. His plan scared her for days, lingering in the back of her mind but now she sees it more as his survival…empowering him.  He now has a choice, whether he executes it or not, and that, may be something he never had growing up…a choice.

Some young adults may finally have a chance to feel what it is like to be free from the clutches of their oppressor(s) and it might be too much to handle on their own…too much to process, let alone, heal. They may feel bombarded with too many  nightmares they have lived growing up.

And that is the part of her job that she loves…being there at a moment if and when the may feel ready to reach out and try and make some sense of their nightmares. Sifting through the memories and challenges together. She often feels like a silent sounding board but with a slight difference. “Kindness is language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain

Maybe reaching adulthood actually means taking back what was rightfully theirs.

light finally shines
mysteries start to unravel
taking back the night

© tournesol ‘2019/12/07

First snowfall – Daily Moments – Troibun

A disturbing nudge on her shoulder kicks her out of her sleep. Her longtime friend and foe is ever consistent. It’s November, and dawn has not yet shown its face. Her cold dark room reminds her of death. It is after all, the month of death. She hears a neighbour roll over in bed. The springs are probably as old as his grandfather but hardly a nuisance to hear. In fact, it’s comforting to hear the expected. There is life upstairs.

She pulls the duvet over her head and whispers her morning mantra, “Please help me be a better person and make this day slightly different…Amen.” Shuffling to the washroom, she peaks in the room at the end of the hall. Squinting, she sees her black feline sleeping soundly by the windowsill.

In the kitchen she starts the coffee. She grinds the coffee beans at night to ensure quiet in the morning. Pulling the curtain in the living room, she sees dark purple shades painted across the sky. What a gift to see this performance offering hope for a new day…yet, it’s all a lie, really. Nothing changes.
Tiptoeing to the washroom, she closes the door runs her morning bath while the coffee maker does its magic. Hot water oils her joints…sort of, at least to function, maybe enough to walk to the bus stop today. Lowering her body so her shoulders are covered in the hot steaming water, she lets out a soft groan exhaling the bad.

The last gasps of the coffee wizard announce the end of her bath.
Sitting in her mother’s old rocker, she sips her first taste of happiness leaning on two ice packs. The aroma fills the air. The ice slowly numbs the pain on her neck and lower back; the rising sun puts a smile on her parched lips. Who knows? Maybe today will be different.

For decades, she’s always told herself that pain is her friend. If she feels aches, it means she’s alive rather than paralysed and unfeeling. She has the energy to work, to love, the passion to care despite the lulls in the day or night, she still lives and feels.

Accepting her limits is the secret. Walking too far or housecleaning in one shot will force her into inaction for a day or two. On days she cannot function, she reads, writes, edits photos or binges on Netflix…always pleasures to take her mind off physical discomforts…the nagging, accusing poking of her stalker or long-time partner?

dawn squints
billowy shadows linger
first snowfall

dawn squints
cringing at intruders
morning strain

billowy shadows linger
shift in autumn’s speed
chasing winter

first snowfall
brightening muddy paths
cooling giddy tongues

(c) Tournesol 19/11/07

A haibun and a Dear Emma journal…just thinking on paper

 

It’s driving her bonkers visiting so many condos. She is working still but this new place should be affordable when she no longer works and accessible to basic needs. Public transportation must be achievable so she can still get around at all hours of the day and evening. She loves the city for the culture, education and so many interesting events. She loves to read and if her new location does not provide what she needs in books, she wants to be able to hop on a bus and go to her Alma mater, having access to it’s library.

visiting
searching
a place to call home

visiting
private homes
of strangers

searching
impossible dreams
peace of mine

a place to call home
yet, fearing isolation
single … not alone

(c) Tournesol ’19/10/30

Yesterday she heard a radio broadcast of a man who retired. He talked about how it was a terrible shock to him. She has been planning to write more and teach English part time on line or in person when she retires. She planned on volunteering doing group work like she did a few years ago but somehow she did not feel “at home” in community outreach programmes like she did in Toronto. Why was that? Was she tired of volunteering in the mental health world where she has worked for almost 4 decades, volunteering and working? Well, that would make sense. Even if she offered workshops, she knows she would still be drawn into their narratives that pull at the heartstrings.

And, to hear this man voice his misery with retirement, jolted her. She thought about the time when it will be an END…rather than her usually way of thinking that it will be a new beginning. Even if she got certified to teach last fall, she never really grasped the idea of cutting ties to workforce. She remembers not working for one year when the children were little and she found work to do from home to keep her sanity. Somehow, being productive AND connected to people was a need and not just a desire.

How did she get here? She has always talked about volunteering and working part time here and there to fill her time. She has relished the idea of going to a library or coffee shop with her laptop and writing to her heart’s content. And yet when it is a choice and something in the future, it looks like a dream come true. When it gets closer, it feels like a death sentence. Oh my, why is she seeing her future so bleak? Is it that time of year?

November approaching is like opening your heart and home to death. The only good thing about this month was her first child was born on the 7th. She feels herself slipping into the darkness of despair and numbness. Knowing it is going to happen; understanding the why’s and how’s makes it even more frustrating because that mood just takes control over her. It snickers and sometimes bellows at her weakness. It weighs on her like a heavy duvet with iron fists keeping her under, and all she can do is concentrate on breathing…waiting for a break in that dark sky. Until then, she will go through the motions…work three days a week; listening to the darkest stories from callers, searching for hope. She sometimes, feels like a hypocrite not being able to take her own advice. She can hear them, feel them, open her heart to them and engage them and help them get to a safer and lighter place even if it’s just for a night, one more day, one more week. If only she could have someone like that to do the same for her.

It is probably one of the toughest parts of being in the service profession. Police officers, first responders, nurses, physiotherapists, massage therapists, doctors, teachers and social service workers and any other outreach career, have the same risks of slipping. Some take comfort with their family, friends and balancing self-care. Others drink too much or eat too much. The things they see or hear are not things you can share and vent with a friend.

In Toronto she had a great therapist (doctor/masters in social work) covered by healthcare. She was even her doctor and her support was helpful and refreshing. Even her doctor would pick her brain on ideas for clients she had who were parents.

She doesn’t feel it really matters where you live. It is how she feels inside…the heart of any home is the soul of the person living there. The living space can be spotless or cluttered, shiny or dreary, quiet or noisy, it all depends on what is going on inside that person. However, lots of windows make a huge difference…just being able to look at the sky; looking out and also seeing life around her like pedestrians, cars, squirrels and chipmunks. Seeing life is vital…it is a connection to the living and she can relate more and more to older people she worked with years ago. She is minutes away from any of these persons now.

She so admired their energy and persistence to keep moving and staying involved with social events. She wonders what their secret was when that heavy duvet weighed them in the morning or when it hurt to move a muscle or hurt even more to open their eyes. She did get advice from her 90 yr old aunt one time. Roll out of bed, shuffle to the bath and run a nice hot bath to oil the joints; then you can move!
She does this on most mornings now.

Maybe she could learn from more retired people. Experience is worth its weight in gold…now she is feeling a bit more hopeful. Thanks, Emma, for listening.

Daily moments Oct 30 2019, clr

 

Reading Julie Parenteau…haibun

Reading Julie Parenteau, Femme Cherche  Homme Aimant le Meutre

(C)Clr’9-10-16

The train moved faster trying to make up for a late departure. She leans her head on the window and watches all the colours of the season embracing her like an old woolen shawl…the one GrandMaman used to wear. The skies are grey and the fall colours flash even more through the mist of the pouring rain.

This is a time to bundle up on a comfy couch or chair and read a book. She turns the page on the mystery novel “Femme Cherche Homme aimant le Meutre” she started reading at the station. The author, Julie Parenteau begins the first page with a jolt inciting the reader to read more, more, more…unfortunately she must read slowly. When she reads in French, she has to sound out each word to understand properly and she sure doesn’t want to miss anything her new favourite Quebec author has written.

Language is so different written from spoken and she learned French on the streets. She had not read a French novel in a while her last one was « Sur le Seuil » by Patrick Senécal, another Québécois writer. His writing affects the reader like Stephen King does…no kidding! And she remembers finding this a real page turner.

After about twenty pages, she usually gets into a different mindset and falls into the world of the author where she no longer notices what language she is reading. How she likes when that happens…her curiosity and love of words take over as well as a thrilling plot!

The muffled sound of the train whistling as it passes through small towns, caught her attention and she looks out on the fields. It is late in the season and she notices the perfectly round bales of hay sitting in the meadow, waiting to bed their new home for the winter.

Mesmerized
A panorama of autumn
Slipping away
from a rear view seat
Nature bids farewell

© Tournesol’19-10-16

If you are interested in reading Julie’s newly published novel, check it out at Indigo, Amazon, Archambault and Renaud Bray. Also look up Julie’s Facebook page to get to know more about this talented writer.

https://www.facebook.com/Julie-Parenteau-auteure-279004306368883/.