a moment of grace ( haibun ) – Daily Moments Sept 17/17

Parminder struggled thinking of her upcoming battle against the man who had  assaulted her. He was well known and a successful professional..  Parminder was a mere insect caught in the web of this vicious spider.  He was there to stomp on her to rid society of this nuisance.

She wept on the phone as she spilled her sadness and  anger to her friend. “I am only female!  I am a just an immigrant!  I am trash that society cannot even look at;  I disgust them.”

“Her friend listens.

“How can anyone amount to anything when she has been groomed in garbage since she was born?” She cries for the child who was abused since she was young.

Her friend waits until there is a pause, then responds.

“What about the flower that starts to grow from the bottom of a pond in the muck and rises above the muddy waters, blossoms into a magnificent lotus?  Did it not come from sludge? What about the beta fighter who thrives in mud puddles?  Is it not admired in Western worlds for its beauty and endurance?  The world does not always know where beautiful and resilient people come from.”

There is nothing more precious when two people sharing a moment of grace simultaneously.

butterfly flutters
fanning its wings on her hand,
my cheek tickles

©Tournesol’17/09/17

222 words

This is longer than the required 150 words at Heeding Haiku for Chèvrefeuille but it is a true story about despair and hope.  Also since it totaled 222 words and my mother’s numbers were 2 and she was born June 22nd, I knew I just had to share it.

Daily Moments September 17  2017  A moment of grace  Haibun

summer showers (haiku)

Written for Carpe Diem Haiku Shuukan. The emphasis is on GRACE (enlarge your capacity of compassion) as defined by Joan Halifax, a Zen Buddhist.

G Gathering attention

R Recalling intention

A Attuning to self other

C Considering

E Engaging

Our host writes:

after the rain
that sweet perfume of the earth –
cherry blossoms bloom
© Chèvrefeuille

Photo credits: Melissa Otterbein

hot summer showers
cools pavement on city streets
a homeless soaks her feet

a homeless soaks her feet
giddy like a young child
splashing with delight

splashing with delight
hot summer showers
fragrance of city parks

© Tournesol ’15

Blessings come in two’s (haibun)

© Clr '15
© Clr ’15

A funny thing happened to me on my way home tonight.  I dressed warm, ready for my usual bitter cold walk to the metro. I actually look like a burglar dressed up in black, all you can see are my nose and eyes.  I still chanced the shortcut out back and there was only about 300 metres with snow drifts to get to the street. No problem.  I was quite pleased with myself considering that the street was only half ploughed. The scraper had scraped right to the icy surface. The street looked like a skating rink. No kidding! If more people would have been awake at this time, for sure some might have skated and youngsters would have slid on their boots.  I get to the Métro Rosemont and for the first time I see dozens of people inside the small square waiting for their busses. Yep, it is that cold!  (Oh did I tell you I froze for an hour Valentine’s evening after my nice café adventure?  I waited an hour in the cold for a bus to get home. I was so cold by the time I got home,  my body would not get warm enough. I felt feverish and achy all over.  Had to call in sick the next day (Sunday) as there was NO way in this century I was braving the cold.)

So back to tonight. I take the métro to Bonaventure and my bus is already there awaiting me (well, it feels good to think so).  I get on the bus engrossed in my novel I am reading by Alice Keys, Rose (check her out at Aliceville)…up to Chapter 89 now.  Gosh! One thing I do not like about e-readers is you cannot tell if you are close to the end so for the past 20+ chapters I am wondering when that will be.  I will let ya’ll know about this book that has captured my attention for the past 2 days now.  I am a slow reader and when I want to remember something I highlight it…and read it over. I know, weird but that is me if I read a book that someone I sort of know wrote itJ.  I have been too brain dead and tired to write much lately, so I am so glad I have a novel that is keeping me absorbed.

I settle on the bus and open my Kindle again and once I get on le pont Champlain I hear a funny sound. It sounds like a phone but no one is picking up. I feel in my breast pocket of my winter coat and take my new I-phone out and yep, it was for me. I have to change that ringer to match what I had on my Samsung…a little Motown sounds I recognize…not this techno weird stuff.

A colleague tells me I forgot my home keys at the office. OH NO!! NOT AGAIN!  My heart drops for a split second and then I realize I am still on the bus, I have not walked the 10 minute walk to my apartment in the cold to discover I did not have my keys and walk back again in the cold to the bus. All I had to do was sit on the warm bus that was going back to Montreal in five minutes. No problem, I tell my colleague but it would be nice if someone is off work to bring the keys to the subway near work so I don’t have to brave the cold walk again to the office.  A colleague offers to drive to the Métro with her hubby who was picking her up and she would wait for me there. She has done this already once for me two years ago. Good Lord there are angels on this planet!!

So I stay on the bus, get on the Métro again. Then I see about six Montreal Police officers waiting to check the trains on the line I was taking. Shoot! They have this Miami Vice swagger when they walk, and feathered hair spiked up…nice and messy…in their camo pants and high laced boots…they have been negotiating their pension for the past year and this is one way they are protesting (dressing like this)… …like that’ll get the public respect for law enforcement.  I digress…they look in each train and find no one. One police officer takes a snapshot with his phone of a tag from a gang member in my car. I didn’t dare tell him there was another tag next to me near the window…I was in a hurry to get my home keys!!  Priorities now people!!

On the ride I read an email on my phone from a person who has been following me on Stigma Hurts Everyone for two years. She wrote a beautiful long letter telling me how my blog impacted on her especially a post I wrote about a homeless person entitled “Do you even see me?”  Her words truly touched me how she has changed her attitude towards homelessness now and well, that truly warmed my heart to read this.  I had no idea my words could have such an impact!

Then I read another email from my favourite supervisor in Toronto and friend.  It is sort of a chain letter regarding an angel and G-d will do two BIG positive things for me in the next few days.  As I read this I wanted to answer but didn’t have WiFi.  I wanted to reply right away: G-d already did the two amazing things…my colleague who was meeting me at the Métro with my keys and this beautiful letter from a follower of my blog. 

I am beaming just about now and my chest is bursting in my mom’s psychedelic housecoat (smiles).

I love days like today…not expecting anything and then being blessed with such kindness it makes me want to cry with joy.

(Troiku)

crunch crunch on the snow
Icicles on eyelashes
a near starless sky

crunch crunch on the snow
exhaling smoke-like vapours
wobbling on ice

icicles from on lashes
body moves on automat
same old same old

a near starless sky
two angels winked down on me
what a blessed day!

© Tournesol ’14

The Troiku was created by Chévrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Please check here to learn more.

paradise recalled (haibun)

What is paradise? Is it a place we pray and hope to reach some day? Is it a moment of total bliss, joy and exaltation? I think it depends on where you are in the cycle of your life and where you are in your life. If I were in a war zone, fearing the death of my children and grandchildren, paradise to me would be a safe refuge. A camp with enough food and shelter…safe from harm’s way would be paradise.

If I think of all the “Have’s” we have here…I have here, the luxuries, the comforts, the warmth and living without the threat on my life or my children, family, friends and country…I am really in paradise, non? And yet, we search and crave more.

Walking down the street to work and seeing the sun peak at me through the clouds, is not that a moment of grace? A rainbow an autumn evening in the city at rush hour, what a way to end a busy day…pedestrians looking up in exaltation…the smiles on their faces warm with delight and childlike wonder…those are moments of paradise.

Naive and innocent was I…we were such young newly weds, years later I remember thanking G-D for allowing couples to visit paradise in those intimate moments reaching nirvana.

My babies nursing and looking up at me with their huge baby blues, one hand gently stroking my cheek…paradise in all its splendour.

The soothing purring of my cat when I wake up from a nightmare, she has rescued me and brought me to a heavenly place…a moment of bliss.

To feel comforted, to be worry free, to reach your destination after driving in a blizzard…to arrive in a warm home, with a warm cup of tea…paradise.

I believe writing has allowed me to appreciate more, take note and savour more the moments that we are blessed with every day.

They are accumulations of moments too often missed…not stopping to relish, take a snapshot of those moments …it is the memory of those moments of bliss, paradise, that get me through the sullen moments. So, STOP, slow down, listen, bathe in it and store it forever in the attic of your brain.

(c) Clr '14
(c) Clr ’14

a fleeting moment
hark! you’ll miss it
paradise lost

genuine joy
souls joined in concert
paradise

at long last
barren mother hears bliss,
“It’s positive”

nursing my newborn
stares into my eyes,
lost in paradise

those first steps,
first time hearing “Mama”…
rise to Nana

sun and wind
commune with the lake
blissful sailing

intimate lovers
matching their rhythms
nirvana

muse murmuring,
writing poetic prose
paradise found

enticed by nectar
butterfly kissed buds
heavenly blossoms