Dear Emma, Friday 13th Nov 2020

 

Dear Emma,

It has been months since I have written on a regular basis.  Many respond to sudden changes in their lives to comments like “Life happened” with all the busyness one may be exposed to.  But like the entire world, my only excuse is “Covid-19 happened” and it just took me a little longer to react.

Sure I was stressed and scared in the beginning but I was so busy putting out fires working on the crisis line three days a week, I would take four days to stay busy…distracted with still settling in my new condo since February…and yet every midday there was a press conference and I would freak out in my own little home.

I would rarely show my concerns with family or friends because they had enough to deal with.  At that time I was worried for my future and the unknown but like I said, I was also busy trying to reassure, comfort and listen to those calling our youth line that, that kept me focussed.  It reminded me a bit of a mom who is trying to tend to the family when they have an illness that is contagious.  Chicken Pox comes to mind as I had to stay quarantined for three weeks with my son and THEN on the third week, my daughter caught it…so six weeks quarantined.  Wow! I thought that was pretty tough then!  How naïve I was!!

In March and April and early May I was still counting the days since our lockdown and now, I have given up counting.  What used to be days, has turned to weeks and now turned to months.  Actually now the thought of counting any amount of time has a bad ring to it…yep, when you start hearing that things will get back to normal…or sort of normal in 3 to 4 years…I dread even thinking about that…my future is much shorter than my clients and my peers, working in an environment where the average age is 25.  So yeah, I’m probably the age of their grandparents.  I wonder how my last decades will be.  I had hoped to travel the first three to five years,  while I was healthy enough and still working to afford the expense…now I don’t know anymore.

In the beginning I mourned the future of youths and anyone 20 years younger than me; I felt so bad for them.  I was worried about my son and his wife and wondered if my son would be allowed to assist in the birth of his baby due in mid September.  I worried about his return to teaching elementary school and putting his family at risk.  I worried for my daughter and her three boys who were 12, 14 and 16, living in dullsville and wishing they could be with at least ONE friend other than each other.  I worried about the sanity of my daughter and her partner working from home with extremely stressful jobs that has increased since the pandemic. 

In May, George Floyd’s murder hit me more than Covid-19…one was a virus and difficult to contain, the other was an act of malice that could have been prevented.  And so I mourned for his family and friends, I mourned for past, present and future people who have died maliciously. It took George Floyd’s death to finally have the entire world acknowledge and listen to people protesting in the streets about systemic racism for black , racially marginalized and indigenous people  ALL over the world.  The finger was first pointed at America and finally we all looked humbly in our own back yards at the injustices that have been going on for decades if not centuries.  White privilege is finally being understood slowly…systemic racism is being acknowledged and recognized…notwithstanding our stubborn premier here in Quebec who will NOT use the word systemic racism pretending NOT to understand what it means…even if many have explained it perfectly in French for any bozo who pretends not to know.  If one does not acknowledge it, they can give that as their excuse to NOT begin to resolve the problem.

Mid-May, I finally bought an inexpensive home antenna and caught the news on several American, Canadian English and French channels…so now I could watch a summary rather than the whole press conferences that I was getting to dread.  I dreaded Zoom meetings and the echoey sound it had and would rarely attend to work meetings and rather chose to stay on the crisis lines. I am still not able to watch for long periods of time, shows that have Zoom…it just reminds me of a new world I dread. 

I worried I would never be able to hold the newborn baby when my grandchild would be born and then July came and I had my very first outing with the family…we were allowed to meet with our 2 bubbles…so my son, his pregnant wife, and my daughter’s family,  celebrating my grandson’s 16th birthday and finally saw everyone.  We had not been together since Christmas 2019. 

I was still scared walking outdoors and was not familiar with my surroundings.  There is a beautiful gigantic park 5 minutes from my condo with an artificial lake that runs a mile and a half long.  I was too scared to go but in August I decided to check it out. I hated walking alone all the time and not having a goal or destination, so I started talking to a friend in Toronto on my walks.  I tried to go for a walk during my lunch time as well to get away from watching the news on YouTube, not having cable, I was stuck with only streaming information. 

On August 20th, the Great Spirit answered all our prayers and my grand daughter was born three weeks early!  My son was permitted to stay with his wife the three days in hospital and I even spent three days the week after helping mama and baby Lara with this new transition.  I treasure those days I was blessed to hold Lara in my arms, soothe her and help her sleep.  The week after school started, I had to stay away from family….AGAIN.

And then the lows hit me. It felt like I was buried alive sometimes. I hardly went out for walks, would binge on mystery channels and Netflix and had a hard time to concentrate on reading…someone who used to read 3 to 4 books a week…my mind seemed to be slipping.

Work was getting heavier…calls were abundant and intense and although I was relieved youths and  young adults were reaching out, once off the phones, I was back in that dark hole. 

I tried anti-depressants for three months and nothing seemed to change and then it was increased and after two days of that awful feeling, I called my pharmacist to ask if I could quit cold turkey…it happened to be a medication that had little to no side effects if stopped suddenly.  That was the same day I heard from a dear friend who was caring for her son who had a terminal illness…I think that is what woke me up.  Life is still going on…cancer, heart attacks, strokes and other debilitating diseases are still around…in fact, it is even harder for them with all the restrictions and precautions due to this pandemic.  No, that was like a slap in the face for me…I wanted to try something else to get out of my dark hole.  It was time to start practicing what I preached to so many of my callers.

But two weeks ago I lost my voice. Well, you cannot answer calls on a crisis line with no voice and even if this week it is raspy, my vocal chords still need a lot of healing due to a couple of reasons. Reflux was the main culprit as that damages vocal chords a lot!  My  doctor gave me a three month treatment and warned me it would take time.  And so here I am,  trying to write again.  Today,   I was admiring some of the posts  my colleagues submitted on our internal Slack showing their hobbies.  That reminded me how much I had changed.

In March and April I was writing a little more, refurbishing furniture and getting into artsy things like water colouring, colouring and considering oil painting.  I was plugged into YouTube so many hours a day learning new DIY’s from makeover rooms to arts and crafts and then summer came, and I stopped.

I picked up knitting but within a few weeks my arthritis warned me painfully not to overdo it and so I picked up crocheting and with the help of YouTube learned new stitches or how to improve what little I did know.  I just finished crocheting a shawl for my daughter in law, almost finished knitting a throw and almost finished knitting a long, long scarf. In the summer I had purchased over $100 worth of yarn for a baby blanket but every time I start knitting something, it takes too long and hurts my achy body and I get discouraged and take it apart.  I knit a bit, then crochet a bit….that way I don’t overuse my body. 

Oh, and in August, I slipped down the stairs of my condo on wet steps the idiot janitor did not put a sign it was wet and there I flew right into a wall. The only thing that still hurts is my left wrist which does not help with crocheting or knitting.  But then again, those are things that may be soothing but they are passive…not helping with my dark moods.

Today, I logged onto WordPress and checked in my Reader to see who I was following and the first post that caught my attention was Linda’s.  Gee thanks, kiddo!

So here I am trying to get back into writing. Oh, I have written similar posts like this one before but after an hour or so I would just delete them.  This time around, I am hoping on this Friday the 13th, it will bring me good fortune and back to my old passion that has always been so therapeutic…writing.

© Cheryl-Lynn ’2020/11/13

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 14/2020 Ring

a new beginning (haiku) Daily Moments Nov. 13/20

 HAPPY DIWALI💕 – Happiship
 (c) https://happiship.home.blog/2019/10/27/happy-diwali%F0%9F%92%95/

  
 shaking in the quake
 uncertainty
 prayers interrupted
  
 obscurity reigns
 then -  rising from the darkness
 Amma’s smile
  
 sneering in her sleep
 monsters gaining speed
 Kali wins the fight
  
 fear turns into hope
 cruelty turns to compassion
 darkness turns to light
  
 © tournesol’ 2020-11-13
  
 Daily Moments   November 13  2020  New beginnings (Troiku )
Celebrating Diwali - festival of lights 

New sounds of silence (troiku)

New sounds of silence – Troiku – Daily Moments Oct 29/2020

😢
sitting in silence
Playing a game of Solitaire
Dropped the nine of Spades

Sitting in silence
Peering through the window
Folks with hidden frowns

Playing a game of Solitaire
All her hopes and fears
In one deck of cards

Dropped the nine of Spades
Far too many ghosts moaning
Breaking the silence

© tournesol’20

https://www.985fm.ca/nouvelles/sante/343640/chsld-sainte-croix-de-marieville-importante-eclosion-de-covid-19

https://cafeastrology.com/fortunetellingcards.html

 

A cherita – a tragedy and a crime

A mother of seven suffers abdominal pains

A family entrust a loved one in the care of health professionals
health care providers who should care with respect 

Suffering woman wails and pleads
attendants curse and denigrate the patient
forever silence her with an overdose wrong meds

&&&

government officials offer their sympathy

Shocked, they fire one nurse and orderly pending investigation
Media probes the premier if he’ll admit existing  systemic racism

stubbornly shaking his head says, no
tsk tsk tsk, how can he fix a problem when in denial

&&&

seven children  and a husband grieve

a community of First Nations mourn together
Indigenous people raise their voices nationally

Sadly I sit,
Wrapped in despair and umpteen questions
Shaking my head, when will this ever end?

© Tournesol’2020-09-29

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/indigenous-woman-who-died-at-joliette-hospital-had-recorded-staffs-racist-comments

https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/sante/2020-09-29/mort-d-une-femme-autochtone-a-joliette/une-infirmiere-qui-a-tenu-des-propos-racistes-congediee.php

Staying safe inside ~ troibun

Stats read 896 positive cases today! Families are cycling; couples are walking hand in hand; can’t see the smiles of solo walkers.

Sunny skies
Autumn breeze
summer’s hanging on

Sunny skies
Keep on taunting me
But I’m safe inside

Autumn breeze
Swaying branches
Wave at me

Summer’s hanging on
Knock knock knocking at my door
can’t catch me in here

© Tournesol ’20-09-27

the lotus (haibun)

(c) Clr’2020

I just love the story of how a lotus starts off.  Such a beautiful flower, appearing so delicate and yet it is so resilient.  This flower grows in ponds and lakes where water does not move much, hence it sprouts first under water in mud and murky water. Just as humans go through life facing loss, sadness, death, and dark moments, hopefully we become stronger and our mind is awakened, acquiring wisdom.  The lotus stems become stronger, forming a bud that pushes its way towards the light, above water and only then, free of dirt and mud, opens one petal at a time …just as humans open up to spiritual growth.  How fascinating!

In Buddhism the bud of the lotus represents potential. We have the potential to spiritual growth  and  awakening,  and enlightenment. As the lotus flower emerges from the water clean, this represents purity of body, speech, and mind…an awakened mind.

Lotus
Lotus – Wikipedia

 

murky waters breed
good and grueling times, and then
a lotus blossoms

© tournesol ‘2020-09-23

This haibun is honouring a dear friend and colleague who celebrates almost 3 decades helping youths through the most difficult times one could not imagine. Happy Anniversary, dear Lotus.

change ~ haibun ~ Daily Moments September 1 2020

(c)Clr’16

 

The grey haired lady walks her dog at the same time after eight this morning, one hand on the dog’s leash, the other leaning on her cane. I look across the street and the elderly couple are not up yet…the patio blinds are still shut…soon it will open and the couple will sit outside to smoke their morning cigarette with their cuppa.

It’s different today. At six I could hear so many cars and a few busses ride down our boulevard. At three in the afternoon I see a yellow school bus stop in front of my building. A teenager with a heavy backpack, still wearing his mask, walks alone to his condo. Within an hour, there are so many people walking their dogs…ah, yes, many are back in school and back working outside the home. No wonder everyone is out at the same time…I’d better not go out at this time…not yet.

It is life back to normal…or is it normal? I decide I will go out to mail a parcel tomorrow when there are less people I might bump into. Yes, I have an idea of the time slots where I may be free from wearing my ask outside walking to the pharmacy. I don’t mind wearing my mask outdoors as well as indoors but I have to walk so much slower when I wear it outside but if I must, I shall. Maybe during lunchtime I will walk to mail my parcel. Yeah, that’s a great idea. Fifteen minutes one way and fifteen to come back. Great idea!! it will be healthy for me since I am indoors so much listening to people in distress.

Now I wonder how my grandsons are feeling…what was their day like in high school? What was the bus ride like? Are all the children abiding by the rules? What is it like during their lunch hour…such a sad reality they must live.

My son is a teacher and today children are starting back to school for the first day; from kindergarten to grade six…only the Grade 5 and 6 have to wear masks. I wonder what that is like for the children…for the teachers. How are the parents preparing their children so they are not freaked out? Life is back to normal…yeah, right (shaking my head in dismay). What have I to complain about, sitting in the comfort of my home?

unremitting change
no need to feel discomfort
caterpillar waits

© tournesol ‘2020/09/01

Welcome to our world, Lara

(c) star Wikipedia

 

I have not had the honour yet to meet this precious being…

your existence
has already
brought so much joy
adds a smile on my face

you shall be known
for touching our hearts
but more importantly
my wish for you, sweet one,
to be true to yourself…
Be unique in her own way,
amazingly genuine
authentically LARA…
my precious grand-daughter

when you are old enough
to see …way up there
in the heavens
look at those twinkling stars
they are your ancestors
winking and beaming
proudly upon you.

Welcome to our world, Lara,
and making 2020 so special!

© Tournesol’2020/08/21
Daily Moments – Welcome to our world, Lara, My grand-daughter was born Aug 20, 2020 making us focus on something beautiful rather than a pandemic (big goofy smile)

Longing for yesterday (free verse ) August 1 2020

Every once in a while,
she weeps of what was
and what is today.

The first few months,
She’d cry a little each day;
listening to tallies of the dead
…press conferences
Oh how she would dread!

the stats always on the rise
her home became her prison
of hope and despair

in time she’d try to manage
those blubbering crying spells
two, three or four times a week…
just a little overflow…
you know when you’re embracing life
and then you catch yourself
realizing life’s not so typical
you don’t know when it ever will be.

Every once in a while,
she weeps of what was
and what is today.

And those times
you think of your children
and grandchildren
and your wish has been
only for their happiness
no parent wants to see their children sad,
worried what the future may bring
you want them happy and hopeful
you want them to look forward
to newborns and christenings
to graduations and weddings
yes, those are things that make her weep
knowing their fears are also hers
she can’t remove, they’re theirs to keep

every once in a while,
she weeps of what was
and what is today.

today she had a few errands
the drug store,
the post office had a package
And then to her local grocer
so pleased was she
proud of her deeds
walking with her checkered cart
under midday sunny skies

Every once in a while,
she weeps of what was
and what is today.

And then she arrives
this new reality
slaps her in the face
washing, disinfecting,
wiping down every item
that was touched by others
you know… just in case

washing her favourite mask
cash back credit card
proof of ID health card
and all three condo keys

she’d looked so forward
to sit, enjoy those fresh fruits
a slice or two or maybe three
of fresh baked crusty bread
filled with berries and oranges,
and add some whipped cream cheese
and cold glass of cranberry juice

But the washing, the separating,
the storing and disinfecting
takes at least an hour or so

at last she does sit down
looks out at her balcony
flowers on her mom’s iron table
her tree she now calls her own
she weeps, of what seems so normal
yet, Is still not so
one still does not know
whenever that will be.

(c) tournesol ‘ 2020/08/01

 

Image may contain: sky, night and outdoor, text that says "how can one weep up above the dark blue sky heavens speak (C) tournesol'20"

an afterthought

how can one weep
up above the dark blue sky
heavens speak

Change (Troibun) Daily Moments August 1 2020


August always makes me feel like summer is over. Remember that feeling way back in the 1960’s when this time of month was much cooler than what we are experiencing now? Do you remember aro

und mid-August there seemed to have lots of winds and cloudy skies?
Sitting quietly, I allow my mind to drift to a time camping at Isle la Motte, Vermont. There were hardly any campers during the week and the people living in the area who had children my age were few. But there was this girl who was already a genuine teenager who hung around with me!. She was thirteen and she would bring me to the centre of the campground where there was a rotunda. Many youths hung out there when it rained and parents wanted some peace and quiet for a few hours.

The small campground was a bit like a huge family. All the children of all ages sort of got along like siblings and cousins; the parents sort of got along with each other until a few drank too much around the campfire around mid-summer but that never affected the children. No, we steered away from grown-ups as much as possible except for chores like lugging a five gallon container of water and doing the dishes. Boy that red plastic container was heavy! And I was only 11! We would take turns. Thankfully my sister would lug it most of the way…she was so strong!

I remember Tina trying to teach me the rock ‘n roll. She seemed to have two extra steps but, for some reason, it made it easier for me to do it “her” way. I now had something I could practice back home with my sister. She was already an amazing dancer. She must have it in her genes just like Mom and Dad.

Saturday nights the rotunda was lit up and if it was a clear night a wooden platform was set up next to it for people to dance. They played a lot of old fogies’ music like stuff that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers would dance to. Haha! So teens and children either watched the adult, went to the beach with their friends or listened to Beatles records at their tent. Yes, we did have electricity.

I used to love hiding behind a tree and admire my parents dance. They actually DID look like those romantic musicals. My mom was not tall and she would just float on her tip toes never missing a step. That was probably the only time they both looked happy. Maybe that’s why I like to always remember those moments.

By mid-August we used to get the “back to school” blues. Don’t get me wrong now. I actually liked school and learning. Yeah, I was a bit of a geek…just a bit. But getting up early in the morning was the tough part. Actually, I dreaded going back to school that year because my sister was going into high school and I did not know if I would have many friends. There were some mean girls in the grade between my sister and me (she was two years older ) who were pretty jealous of her. My sister was kind to everyone and well, that make her very popular, I guess. I think some classmates were only nice to me because of my sister…now I dreaded going back to school and being alone to fend for myself. I did not like fighting. Well, with my sister I did now and then but that’s what sisters ARE supposed to do, right?

Yes, August always brings back those memories of grief and loss… transitioning. I certainly don’t feel that way these days. My goodness we still have wonderful weather and it’s warm until the end of September now. I actually look forward to autumn with all the colours. Although, my Mother’s Day flowery arrangement is getting thinner now…

Slowing down
gracefully
with age

slowing down
fewer bursts of colours
fallen petals

gracefully
bending
rustling leaves

with age
settling mindfully
beauties with time

© Tournesol ‘2020/08/01

smiling sky (haibun) daily moments July 30 2020

(c) Clr ‘2020/7/30

 

C R A C K!    B O O M!
Heart does a summersault
Heavens aglow

It was hard to settle the heart and she could not help but wonder, looking out at the dark grey sky how do people survive each day, who face darkness and sounds of gunfire and explosions? How naïve she feels…how blessed in her ignorance.

Peaceful day
One must count
Each blessing

One, two, three layers
Forming a halo
of colours

After an hour of thunder and rain, she steps out to see the sky smile at her

Semi circle
Painting the sky
with hope

© tournesol ‘2020/07/30

A blessed day – Day 119 – daily moments July 10/20

She woke up feeling so pumped from her morning’s reveries.  And then she checked her email and social network and  her heart felt so warm and fuzzy from wonderful comments from friends and colleagues celebrating her twenty year anniversary at her workplace.

sweet voice echoes
igniting spirits like fire
Mother spoke to her
joining friends and colleagues
thanking her for services

and yet,
feels like thanking them
to do what she loves

Day 119 and we are still living in this heatwave…35C but feels like 40C. Opening the patio door she wanted to step out and admire the flowers on her balcony…no, not today, she sighed and quickly slid the door shut to keep the cool air inside. Feeling bless she could sit in her living room or cook in her kitchen and still admire the beauty on the other side of the glass.

(c) Clr ‘7/10/2020

heart fills with love
looking fondly at such beauty
a gift from you

© Tournesol ‘2020/07/10

Daily Moments July 10, 2020

Day 70 ~visiting joy haibun

Getting her living room ready for a long overdue visit felt good. She mops the floor of dust and chat hairs; it is still quite hot outside at 28C, so she keeps the windows closed and AC on. Looking at her watch she decides to relax a bit before her visit but not before adding a touch of lipstick and then the chimes of her phone announce her virtual visit.

How her heart fills with joy chatting, laughing and just enjoying the visit with a person she met almost twenty years ago. After a long pleasant chat, she checks the air on her balcony and sighs with relief…finally turns the AC off and enjoys the quiet with the windows open, smelling the scent of new life.

Tree branches stretch
Belated foliage unfolds
soft breeze brings solace

© Tournesol ‘2020/05/22

Day 62 – budding promise ~May 15 2020 (haibun)

I remember as a first time mom how much I questioned  so much about the health and safety of our son. His first fall, I held him in my arms and cried with him…and cried some more even after he had stopped, whispering over and over, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”.

Parents in general are very proud of their children and some also like to boast…”Oh, he said his first word at “blank”…or “Oh, your son still doesn’t have teeth? Mine has five already.” Most times, you try to shrug it off but once you get home you take out Dr. Spock or any other paediatric bible you have for reassurance.

I remember our paediatrician, who was a teacher at McGill and the Head of paediatrics at the Jewish General Hospital would take phone calls from worried moms every morning from 7:30 am to 8:00am.  What a godsend!  Once he replied to my question that our son’s  teeth would be stronger if they come in later. Hmm, well, that reassured me. I tried not to boast too much  except with my mom, of course.  As a nana though I don’t hold back…grandparents have brag rights…it is WRITTEN…somewhere…:)

Today, it is May 15th and the lawns and landscapes are still quite bare.   At least it is not snowing but it would be so nice to start having some greenery on those trees. I am not even asking for flowers…just leaves! But I must have patience and embrace the tiny signs of growth…

(c) Clr 2020/05/15

limbs in wait
blossoms spreading slowly
budding promise
late bloomers growing stronger
bringing hope to the world

© Tournesol ‘2020/05/15

reflections of Mom ~ May 10, 2020

Image may contain: plant, flower and indoor
(c) Clr ’20/05/10

 

Il semble approprié de placer mon beau bouquet de fleurs que mon fils et ma belle fille m’ont donné pour la fête des mères dans ma chambre juste à côté de la chaise de ma mère. Ce soir, je vais m’asseoir tranquillement en me bercant sur sa chaise et sentir sa présence.

se souvenir
ce rire contagieux
parfum de Givenchy
pincement passionné des joues
chuchoter, “Je t’aime ma chérie”

It seems fitting to place my beautiful bouquet of flowers my son and daughter gave me for Mother’s Day in my room right next to my mom’s chair. Tonight, I will sit quietly rocking in her chair feeling her presence.

reminiscing
that infectious laugh
scent of Givenchy
passionately pinching cheeks
whispering, “Love you darling”

© Tournesol ‘20/05/10

 

Day 54 May 7/20 No Exits (troiku)

No photo description available.
(c) Clr ’20

 

where’ve they all gone
tumbling early in the morn
hollow echoes

where’ve they all gone
absent footsteps
abandoned stairwell

tumbling early in the morn
like clockwork
with purpose

hollow echoes
not so long ago
safely indoors

keeping satellites busy
friends and family reconnect

defend one and all
Mother Nature breathing life
Isolation saves

Image may contain: Cheryl-Lynn Tournesol, glasses and close-up

© Tournesol ‘20/05/07

Daily Moments – May 7 2020 No Exits Troiku

cherry blossoms – haibun – Day 52

Dômage les gens ne peuvent pas se réunir pour photographier comme tous les ans, mais la ville de Toronto qui a placer des cameras pour nous tous est une belle alternative…

Sadly people are not able to gather and photograph as they have each year, but the city of Toronto has placed cameras for all to see as a beautiful alternative.

vrai goût du printemps
étancher d’une pure beauté
fleurs de cerisier

true taste of spring
quench of sheer beauty
cherry blossoms

(c) Tournesol ’20/05/04

Daily Moments May 4  2020  cherry blossoms (haibun)

Day 50, May 2 2020 defying the enemy haibun

After two days of cleaning and washing she decides to go out for a walk. It was so warm all she needed was a light pullover. She filled her pockets with necessities: tissue, mask in a Ziploc bag, latex gloves, her health card and something she has never done before…she wrote up an Emergency card with her Allergy, contacts of her doctor, pharmacy, her two children on a business card. Now she felt better and put her keys around her neck and her mala beads.

She likes her street because everyone is respectful of social distancing. Not everyone smiles and answers her greeting, but that’s okay. When she turned onto another street she almost bumped into two young children on their bikes. One snickered and thought it was funny that they pretended to run into her. The first one made her chuckle thinking it was all innocent but she was disappointed that the parents did not even acknowledge her greeting or tell their child to be more careful. After the second child darted at her, she decided to walk very far from any future children on bikes. Maybe they see her as one of the main reasons for this lockdown. The media and politicians keep saying how this lockdown is to keep older people alive and she wonders if this is starting to feel like too much of a sacrifice for many. It is sad that people do not look at updates for there are many people between 25 to 45 that are testing positive and deaths are not high among this group but any death is too much, right?

She starts chanting her mantra silently and walking for about twenty minutes and then decides to change the Jazz on her phone to R & B. Suddenly her step matches the beat and each song she adds is just a bit faster. She is just soaking up music of Ben E. King, Daft Punk, The Four Tops and Santana… and after almost 4 K, then she chooses a slower beat to cool down and walks around the block twice before getting back into her condo.

Music picks her up
Feels her heart fly
High on endorphins

Clouds form shapes
Etched on blue canvas
Divine Artist paints

People chatting
Smiling and laughing
From a safe distance

Joy burgeons
Defying the enemy
Pure bliss wins

Ending her day with a video call warms her heart and she knows she will have a good night’s sleep tonight.

Connecting with loved ones
virtual home visits
Nature’s sedative

© Tournesol ‘2020/05/02

Daily moments – Day 48 Meal break (haibun)

During her lunch break she wanted to go out for a walk but there were too many people walking the street. Some two by two, a teen on roller blades and cyclist in shorts. Resigning to taking the garbage out, she felt she might soak up the sun for a few minutes. When she walked out her heart skipped a beat…”No, don’t close the gate yet, I need to bring mine”…standing at 5 metres from them she felt her heart swell…

finally spring
showing its warmth
sun beaming

finally spring
forced her out
a brief moment

showing its warmth
two ladies by the dumpster
excites her

sun beaming
halos circle their heads
smiling at me

She is not alone. That is what the isolation makes you feel as if you are alone feeling what feel. The women both nodded that they had good days and bad days. Yes!! It was such a relief to speak to live women close to her age …we share the love for our offspring, the worry, the longing. And even though it is a sad reality, she walked back to her unit with a lighter foot.

she’s okay
speaking to live humans in person
sighs

© Tournesol 2020/04/29

Daily moments – Day 48 Meal break (haibun)

Day 42 rock, paper, scissors (haibun) Apr 24, 2020

So many people were out;  some looked content others look serious and walked with purpose.  A few only exposed their eyes.

It appeared chilly since many were still wearing wool tuques and scarves.  At least in our winters and spring here we can lift a scarf over our mouth and nose without it looking out of place…too much. She is debating whether she should  go out or not.    She looks from her balcony wringing her dry hands like an old scared woman.

Strangers on her street
Face masks, the new spring fashion
peeks from her window

trying to catch up
youngster pedals with a purpose
father in slow motion

sanitizers flow
exhaustion showers over her
toxins linger

(c)  Tournesol ‘2020/04/24  Daily Moments Day 42

Day 40 -Earth Day Haibun April 22, 2020

 

Last day of my three day work week and not  too soon.  Struggling to sleep at night when the rest of the building seems to sleep  late…a neighbour that walks with heavy feet anytime from midnight to three in the  morning makes for a short night.  I am sure she does not realize this and since I am a new owner here, I have not had a chance to meet anyone except for the owner downstairs, who I have told to bang on the ceiling anytime if I am too noisy or the music or tele is too loud.

I am such a light sleeper  so even if I go to bed at 8 or 9 which I did last night, I woke up with a start  at midnight and struggled to get back to sleep hours later. Ear plugs do not seem to muffle the vibration of a person banging a closet door or plodding . I’ve chosen to sleep with my earbuds listening to  music with the volume low and yet…

rubber limbs
floating on an astral plane
snapping back
rumbling clouds shudder
from the third floor

Snow greeted me this morning on my patio as a mid-spring scenery.

Earth Day
bicentennial
snow on our lawns
so much for Mother Earth
giving us the finger

I took a nice bubble bath before my shift and watched a few short videos celebrating Earth Day.

The morning was not too bad but during lunch, I couldn’t help but check on the news to hear updates and that can get me nervous and frustrated. Lately, I notice a bubbling impatience inside my chest. Our province is still rising…over half of the country’s stats. How can you ever get used to hearing about deaths? Two friends told me this week they lost a relative…reality sucks! Whether it is 1 or 100 (which is nothing compared to Europe, I know and I can only imagine how scary it must be too…but still a life multiplied by xxxx is always too much.

My calls were more frenzied in the afternoon and it took a lot for me to concentrate…trying to ignore the simmering storm.

sadness and angst
listening to their suffering
pulses rising
muted implosions
licking salty lips

© Tournesol ‘2020/04/22

Day 40 and Earth Day (daily moments)

Letting go (haibun) daily moments april 19 2020

(c) Clr ‘2019

Watching a stand up comic she bursts out laughing. It is such a wonderful distraction these days. The third comic show, she starts weeping and doesn’t know why…or does she?

Salty tears
Drawing paths on wrinkled cheeks
Laugh therapy

Laugh therapy
coming from a secret place
finally letting go

© Tournesol ‘2020-04-19
Daily Moments – letting go

from a distance ~ Tanka ~ Daily moments April 19 2020

décharger le cœur
ajoute du printemps à mon pas
allégeant l’esprit
reconnaissant d’une amie sympathique
l’autre côté de l’Atlantique

unloading the soul
adds spring to my step
declutters the mind
thankful for a sympathetic friend
across the Atlantic

© Tournesol 2020-04-19

 

Dear Emma April 18 2020 ~ Haibun

Tick tock
Toss and turn
Mind won’t shut off!

May as well stay up and drop when I can no longer stay awake. It’s Saturday today…soon the sun will come up. I went for a teeny tiny walk last night after I brought the garbage out. It was after nine and no one was on the street except for one young man busy talking on his phone. I just walked up and down my street twice, staying within my close quarters since I had not brought my cane or walking stick and you just never know when that knee will give way, so it came out to 2km. I’m pleased with that. I think I will continue walking at that time each night. Granted I would love to soak up the sun in the daytime but with the cool weather we’ve been having, wind comes along with the sunny skies and evenings it just seems calmer and feels warmer.

I surfed the net a bit to see how the world was coping…I found an interesting segment from France covered byFrance 24which is aired weekly. Oh my, to see the drones the police are using to check up on people who are not abiding with social distancing!!! That is pretty awesome actually but like one woman cyclist with her two children commented, it does feel futuristic and one wonders if you are doing to get attacked by the drones. It’s a great idea actually and saves a lot of manpower so police can also be available for emergencies rather than patrolling street by street, park after park.

I noticed our police patrol Easter Sunday. Good thing they came by a few hours after this couple rendezvoused in front of my building. He brought her a gift and stretched out his arm to hand it to her. Then they spoke briefly a good two metres apart. She had leggings and a nice long sweater hanging off one shoulder and four inch heels!! I kid you not! It was so adorable to see them. They looked in their late thirty’s or mid forty’s. I found it so romantic! Hey, I don’t get to see much these days, so this was a real life treat And I even wrote about it on my an Easter datealong with a haiku on Sunday.

No photo description available.

I ordered watercolours and paper this week. I am kicking myself for having given all my paints, crayons and artsy things when I moved here. Who knew I would have so much time on my hands that I could relax trying to paint? I have never really painted with watercolours except fooling around with my grandson and when I was a kid but lately I found a few Youtubers who explain it well and I want to try. My goal is to make greeting cards, just for fun and maybe even create lovely haiga with my artwork. So far, I have only done haiga with my photos but it would be a nice change. If I don’t succeed at least I will have practiced an art form that relaxes me.

Years ago I had to take some art courses to be accepted in an Art Therapy class at my university. So I took 24 lessons in oil painting. I did not really find I did anything pretty but every week those three hours went by like ten minutes.

It’s 5:30 and I’m not sure I will be able to stay up until the sun comes up. My eyes are getting a bit heavy (finally). I think I will have breakfast so hunger will not wake me up at 8am and I can sleep in as late as I want. Yes, that is a great idea!

Thanks for listening, Emma. There are not many people I can talk their ear off at this time and you are such a great listener.

Night sounds
Hum of the fridge
The old cat snores

© Tournesol ‘2020-04-18

April 17 2020 ~video chats rescue ~ haibun

Image may contain: cat

 

Ah if only I could disconnect like my feline friends.  I hear one snore softly.  I felt pumped when I first woke up and seeing the sunny skies.  The sun was so warm, the bedroom temperatures went up I had to open the windows.  And then I watched the news…

bursts of energy
sun beams through my window
lifting spirits

dark clouds
menacing those light blue skies
hold uncertainty

emotions
riding the roller coaster
little engine doubts
I think I can, I know I can
because I have a plan

there is no shame
in reaching out
call out their name

so comforting
a face smiling back at me
YOU, inside my screen!

Feeling pumped again after a nice video chat with my son and daugther in law…yes, I definitely can get through these times.

© Tournesol ‘2020/04/17 Daily moments

A visit I had a few weeks ago from my son and daughter in law …can’t really have that anymore.  Police are patrolling regularly now.

 

trust in the universe ~ Haibun ~ April 15/20

Three hours of sleep reads her Fitbit. Hmmm, that’s odd, and yet she feels refreshed this morning. She runs a bath and prepares her coffee at the same time. She seems to have energy today despite the lack of sleep. She strips her bed and prepares for laundry and finally when her coffee is ready she slips into her bubble bath and turns on her tablet to watch something silly on Netflix, The Big Show.

A great way to start her day and once dressed and logged onto her laptop, she feels an energy she has not felt in weeks.

The universe gave her what she needed.

isolation
digging at their psyches
discovering normal

offering hope
exploring
possibilities

© Tournesol ‘2020/04/15

 

disturbing reveries  daily moments  April 13 2020 Haibun

Last night I was surprised to see the time when I woke up at only 2 in the morning.    It’s amazing how a deep sleep can feel like you have slept for a long time.   I slipped back to sleep and then…

I was riding my bike back home to the house where I grew up in my hometown.    It was not quite dawn…the sky was grey and the sun had not started to come up yet.  As I approached the house, I thought I should put my bike in the house not to get it stolen.

“How come I had not thought of that before since there are so many robberies at this part of town?”

Suddenly I saw my car parked and decided to stick the bike in the car but then I saw a car backing up to come and talk to me, so frantically shoved the bike in the front but was not fast enough and the car was about a metre from me.  He rolled down his window and I was about to approach out of habit…but then I froze realizing the social distancing advised was two metres.  I knew I was dreaming, and I really wanted to wake up because I sensed there was danger.  The man wanted to talk, said he felt socially isolated and got out of his car …I ran to house but could not unlock the door fast enough and close it behind me…he pushed the door and as I backed away he came closer and I thought he was going to rape me.  But he just wanted to hold someone…just wanted someone to talk to. My heart totally understood but my brain was speeding and telling me this was way too dangerous.

I kept backing up slowly but still listening.  One could tell this man was suffering but I was not sure if he could control his frustrations.

I woke up at 5:30 AM and there was  still an hour or so before I should get up for work…but I could not help but feel I might go back to the same dream.   I put on my mask for my eyes and kept repeating my mantra and imagining the face of Amma, hoping I could fall asleep…I did but not in a deep sleep but back into the same dream…

We talked in the living room…I was sitting on the couch and he on the footstool with such a heavy look of defeat.  I felt so bad that this virus had done this to him but also worried for my health.  Feeling guilty for thinking of myself and feeling empathy for him…not a great place to be…and then I woke up at 6:30 and got up. Enough already!!

I took my time getting ready for work, setting up my laptop, my tv as a second monitor and  sticking important papers on my cupboard door to have everything in my view.

I took out the garbage and recycling as well since it was very early and pouring rain I could avoid seeing anyone.  I wore my new white cotton gloves and then dumped them in the wash and logged onto my laptop.

What a way to start my day!

hearing their stories
describing a dystopia
makes my skin crawl

© Tournesol ‘2020/04/13

J is for Joy (Troibun)

On this same day Paril 12th, 2016 this is what I wrote. Watching children here brought me joy and today in 2020, watching a couple meeting in front of my building brought me joy, in the Easter date https://cheryllynnroberts.info/2020/04/12/an-easter-date-easter-date-haibun-april-12-2020/

Tournesol dans un Jardin

Life offers many joys. One just has to stop and notice they are here even in the saddest times, under grey clouds and personal strife. She shuffles reflecting on her solitude wistfully aiming for the city park.

©Clr`15/12/08 ©Clr`15/12/08

(troiku)
sitting on a park bench
giggling children
joy etched on lips

sitting on a park bench
swallows chirp
telling stories

giggling children
skipping, running joyfully
tag you’re it

joy etched on lips
brings new life
spirit glows

©Tournesol’16/04/12

My haiga for this prompt at Carpe Diem:

park bench

giggling children
swallows telling stories
paints joy on lips

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai “new life”

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 12

View original post

an Easter date Easter date Haibun April 12 2020

 

A friend sends links of live videos which offer hope and peace.  She is busy and misses out on one.  And then she sits watching news from New York and then Quebec.  Her heart aches and she cannot seem to shake off the grief for so many people.  An hour earlier she had  sent three self videos to loved ones showing how healthy and fine she is, offering best wishes for Easter.  Easter is a time to rejoice …a time for rebirth.

Another alert from her tablet sounds the arrival of a message from her friend who sends her two more links…one is gospel music which shifts her mood and the other is Andrea Bocelli: Music for Hope. She had forgotten to tune into this live.

shedding tears
this time for hope
releasing joy

Looking from her patio window, she smiles.  A couple meet in front of her building.  She wishes she could have captured the 4 inch heels but that  would have looked too nosy [chuckles].   It was so adorable to see the brief encounter and a few hours before the police car passed by checking up on the neighbourhood and social-distancing.

No photo description available.

le rendezvous
at two arms length
hearts swell

© Tournesol ‘20/04/12

anticipation (haibun) Daily Moments April 11 2020

Wishing she could have sent scrumptious chocolate bunnies…yet, deliveries meant more work for recipients, to cleanse and disinfect…no Easter cards mailed, no Laura Secord Eggs this year.   Avoiding all fears for contamination and spread of bacteria, she forwards gifts through cyberspace.

Easter Bunny
delivering virtual gifts
global normal

One cannot help but feel the quietness of this special day, remembering stories her GrandMaman shared about the blessing of water on this special Holy Saturday.

Mother in wait
weaving in a web of faith
The resurrection

© Tournesol ‘20/04/11 Daily Moments  – anticipation

living today (troibun)

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, outdoor and nature
(c) clr’20

A month has passed already!

Since January 1st, she had been working remotely more and more. First there was the move and later, the struggles on her body traveling and walking on icy sidewalks and flu season worried her a lot. In three months she may have gone to the office five days at best. It was already her new normal. However shopping for odds and ends she needed to fix up her new home and doing her own groceries were outtings she looked forward to until March.  What she misses the most is seeing friends and family…oh my, miss those hugs!

Last night she slept thirteen hours losing part of the day. After months of sleeping four to six hours a night, she gave into her body’s screaming request. Was it the exertion from cleaning and scrubbing? Was it giving in to her chronic pain? Or was it hiding from another day? Perhaps a bit of both but her body thanks her? A much needed vacation after months of packing and unpacking. Oh! There are still many things to do but at least she had the opportunity to make her new home look decent enough and not “quite” climbing the walls (or have to wash them down too!)

What really worries her most was the unknown future. She is saddened her children and grandchildren …people who are younger than her have to be faced with a very very different world. She knew the world was changing but never thought she would be alive to see how it would impact on so many younger people…how her heart breaks thinking of this.

It’s also a time of year when she usually does a bit of cooking…home baked beans, split pea soup à la Jeanne Benoit (she’s tried a few including Ricardo’s and no one can beat Jeanne plus her added touch of course) along with ham, pâtés and tête de fromage and a variety of sweet pies. Her Grandpères are not as good as those from la Cabane à sucre but lots and lots of chocolate.

When she was younger, during la semaine sainte (holy week) her grandmaman would cook eggs in syrup for breakfast along with beans baked in molasses or maple syrup. Of course beans were a regular Sunday breakfast even outside Easter week. After Sunday mass many churchgoers would pick up home baked beans at a grocer.

She takes comfort thinking of those days, just like food giving one comfort. It is enjoyable to cook and bake for others but to do it alone is a challenge lacking so much joy, missing the smiling faces and comments of “Mmmm” and “More please”.

It’s 18:30 and as much as she has avoided hearing her prime minister or premier speak…she turns on the screen awakening her to reality.

Under grey skies
A leader talks about peace
Spring snowflakes

Under grey skies
Heavy
With new angels

A leader talks about peace
Birds chirp softly
Chasing soporifics

Spring snowflakes
Maples running gold liquid
humans may not taste

© Tournesol ’20-04-09

Daily Moments – April 9 2020 – Living Today (haibun)

It’s today (haibun)

A lovely visit today from my son and daughter-in-law that warmed my heart so much!  What a treat to chat with them from my sunny balcony.  Neighbours passing by who were out for their daily walk and nodding, smiling and greeting us under these unique circumstances.

Many walkers were crossing each other and like a smooth dance they would pull away at least two metres or more and once passed, they would resume their pace and space on the sidewalk.  It makes me feel safer seeing how my street is so respectful of this and I think it relieved my son to see his mom lives is a safe neighbourhood.

When I mentioned it was Monday today, he said, “No, Mom, it’s TODAY…everyday is TODAY now.”  So today is my first day of my vacation and what a great start I have experienced today.

uncertainty is real
fear is no longer my ally
compassion rules
family and friends
reaching out far and near

© Tournesol ‘2020/04/06

until dawn ~ daily moments 2020/04/05

waiting
under navy skies
birds still sleep

waiting
silence
comforts me

under navy skies
hint of life
my heart beats

birds still sleep
angels of the night
keep watch

© Tournesol ‘2020/04/05 Daily moments – until dawn

My talented haijin from Italy kindly responded to my troiku on facebook, feeling her compassion across the Atlantic

even in the dark
echoes of the heart
life

whispering wind
fluttering leaves
life

first rays of sun
a lark warbles
life

in this moment
a thought of you
life
© gsk ’20

Have a great Sunday my friend.

~

Grazie ma chère and you as well…it’s amazing what a few extra hours of sleep can do 😊

first glimpse of light
bowing in reverence
riding theta waves

fairies
dancing in thin air
reveries delight

awakenings
embracing life’s promise
near and far

© Tournesol ‘2020/04/05

Stay Homers, one and all…you ROCK

youths and adults all over the world!
anyone feeling too immortal theses days
LISTEN UP!
A NEW CAST IS IN DEMAND IN THIS HEROIC MOVIE
we already have health heroes
we do have truckers and grocers
garbage collectors, mental health workers
utility and IT folkS
government folks at all levels
educators, street cleaners, building cleaners
umpteen volunteers handing out food
restaurateurs of every kind,
delivery persons and postal persons
packers, sorters, stockers too
comedians and all sorts of celebrities
lest not forget Youtubers too
I’m missing a few but understand
this must be short
to speak to this very special cast
the ones who feel that they’re invincible
You wanta go down in history
as true heroes?
STAY HOME…we need STAY HOMERS!!
in this last cast of new heroes
STAY HOMERS ACTUALLY RULE!

(c) Cheryl-Lynn  2020/04/02

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

death lingers (tanka)

Written for Milan Rajkumar’s prompt at Triven: World Haiku Utsav

prompt : dry
sea waves
salty breeze mingles with
dried tears of autumn

(c ) milan rajkumar

spring rain
never seems to wash away
scent of decay hangs

scent of decay hangs
even under drier skies
death still lingers

© Tournesol ‘20/03/26

Micropoetry ~ Waka ~ Flash Fiction

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