All posts by Tournesol

A little bit about moi: I am a mom, a nana, a sister, a woman, a friend, a human being…a youth counsellor, Family Life Educator. I have been working in the helping profession for over 25 years and volunteered in various capacities from youths to seniors. Tournesol is my nom de plume for haiku and other Japanese form poetry here at Tournesoldansunjardin https://cheryllynnroberts.wordpress.com I hope you enjoy reading through my daily waka. I also have another blog "Stop the Stigma" where I may stand on my soapbox now and then and hope it will become a place to drop in and share or comment on issues important to you. In that vein this could be a great way to learn from each other. http://stigmahursteveryone.wordpress.com Namaste!

flowers for valentine? ( haibun) Daily Moments Feb 14/2021

The earth has been diseased for decades and now for over a year, the world is still held hostage by a virus that has no mercy and gets stronger over time. Humans are at war with a trillion drones hiding in wait…yet, they are invisible! And so we walk around with the only protective gear possible even in this high tech era that we live.

Social distancing
Wearing a mask
Washing your hands

Social distancing
Preferably
STAY HOME

Wearing a mask
When you can’t social distance
Forget the lipstick

Washing your hands
BEFORE TOUCHING ANYTHING!

Scientists working tirelessly to give humans ammunition but it’s a slow,process to gear every human..

In the meantime, is nature really healing? I mean aside from seeing a bluer sky, is it really? When things get safer, how many humans will revert to old, damaging patterns? This “time out” is perhaps an opportunity for humans to change. Here is one way to hear from a long time environmentalist David Suzuki 

A bud
Struggling to blossom
Needing air and water

A bud is just a bud is just a possibility …

© Tournesol’2021-02-14

Daily Moments – it’s finally dark  free verse  Feb 13 2021

 

It’s finally dark…

Wake up with the sun
feeling like a prisoner
another long day

Looking for excuses
to stay safe inside
it’s too cold,
it’s too icy…

tired of playing
the same ol’ game
“catch me if you can”
corona has no shame

feed the cats
my prime concern
then grinding java beans
fragrant and delightful
a lift that makes me smile

lifting the blinds
just a little
just enough
felines sun bathe
yet not enough
to peek inside my lair

just enough to see outside
watching the same people
day after day
day after day
walking their lady lapdogs
jogging to the park
some walking hand in hand
day after day
same old shit,
different day

one, two, three hours pass
still finding reasons to stay inside
brushing my cat
petting the other
blessed my friends are here
keeping me sane

binging today
on SVU…Law and Order
stories about perpetrators
victims of abuse
tales remind me sometimes
of stories that I’ve heard
the only consolation on TV
the bad guy may get caught
the victim may finally heal
live sort of happy ever after.

another hour, it’s quiet
the cats are sleeping
bellies full
the streets are empty too
no walkers now
just cars parked in front
a visitor here
another guest there

not sure if it is illegal
but keeping someone sane
outweighs any Legault law
so long as curfews followed
such visits heal the soul

tired of playing
the same ol’ game
“catch me if you can”
corona has no shame

it’s finally dark
yet not too late
last minute souls
who brave the streets
to get a dozen eggs

it’s finally dark
we’re all shut in
it’s passed eight o’clock

it’s finally dark
survived another day…

tired of playing
the same ol’ game
“catch me if you can”
corona has no shame

 

(c) tournesol ‘2021 -02-13

Daily Moments – it’s finally dark  free verse  Feb 13 2021

Daily moments Feb 9 2021 tapestry of life (Troiku)

 

Loom Tapestry Learning image 0
Etsy – Loom Tapestry Learning

Today as my colleague was describing a counselling process, I was visualizing a collaborative partnership…like creating a tapestry. Each yarn, unique in its texture and colour; each row adding to the complexity forming; client holds bits and pieces of yarn, varried textures from thin to soft, soft to thick and coarse of so many colours; counsellor holds the loom and together a new story unfolds.

Wrapping yarn
Bulky, soft and unique
around each nail

wrapping yarn
attentive and respectful
to each detail

bulky, soft and unique
weaving each new syllable
tapestry of life

around each nail
exploring – discovering
options unfold

© tournesol ‘2021-02-09

Daily moments Feb 9 2021 tapestry of life (Troiku)

Who am I but me? (written 2014)

I am me, none other,
not my mother’s weaknesses
nor the sins of my father
but the qualities of my mother,
strength of my grandmother
sometimes tenacious,
impatience blessed
my fortitude
and sometimes
with  some solitude;
when o’er the top
kinsfolk distressed.

I am perfect
in my imperfection
I’m an ordinary human being,
doing the best I can
with utmost dedication.

I love to  help, care
listen with compassion
giving, feeds me double rations
so much more do I receive.

I am female
woman, all the time
insisting I be true
to my heart’s desires,
my need for intimacy
my thirst for sexuality
if society permitted
I would not have to store
said desires in a drawer
No indeed!
they’d call me an exciting player
rather than promiscuous stayer
and…
I’m also a lady the rest of the time;

I am not English
nor am I French
I am Canadian,
then I’m Québécoise
I am a product of my ancestors
woven of the best of tweeds
in French, Irish, Welsh, English
like most Canadian tapestries.

I’m independent
but not unfriendly
embrace my solitude
which toys two camps
of loneliness and isolation
ambivalence ascends
with feelings of worthlessness,
aloneness then transcends.

I love my mother,
and all my children,
and my children’s children too,
my sister moreover-
cousins most times,
my friends… true siblings
soul mates, by design.

I love with abandon
sheer lust and passion,
not always guarded…
but, ill prepared,
which sometimes breaks
the heart in two,
Lord Tennyson
seemed to know this pain
as quoted saying:
‘Tis better to have loved and lost,
than never to have loved at all.’

I want to wake next to a lover
but not lose me along the way
so much explored of me, discovered…
I learn to love me more each day.

Originally Published:  © Cheryl-Lynn R.’ 2014/05/14

Oh my! How life has changed since I  wrote this…but I have not…I wonder what verse I could add to 2021…something to think about…

 

while the world waits ~ Troiku ~ Daily Moments ~ January 30 2021

 

while the world waits Troiku Daily Moments January 30 2021

scrambling for vaccines
not enough to share
while the world waits

scrambling for vaccines
generate new variants
politics and greed

not enough to share
countries forming cliques
survival or greed?

while the world waits
use your mask and wash your hands
and stay the feck home!

© tournesol ‘2021 – 01 – 30

 

A slow bleed Free Verse

A slow bleed ~ Free Verse

a slow bleed…

at first the world was shocked
like being on a ship, discovering a leak
but then there were too many …

like a kitchen fire
putting out the flames
until it spread too far…

winter, spring…
the world looked in shock
watching overseas
knowing what was to come

so many deaths
so many losses
too many mourners
robbed of saying, ‘goodbye’

and then summer arrived…

leaks seemed under control
fire was a constant simmer
‘Summertime’ in the air

most humans still followed rules
…except
those wrapped in self-righteousness
their stole of complacency
those screaming for freedom
claiming their rights and liberties
defying laws that protect humans
laws to allow essential workers
do their job
to keeping the sick, alive

healthcare workers hold a screen
a dying patient says ‘adieu’
from afar, loved ones mourn

a nurse steps out for air
in shock, so much despair
sees marchers scream unmasked
claim threats are just a hoax
deaths only media hyped
they see not what they do
but only their umbilici

under its watchful eye
coronas sneer at their prey
multiply to centillions

autumn’s expectations
children, youths, essential workers
vulnerable and at risk
coronas’ tempting hosts
spreading more and more
coronas hanging on

essential workers stock our shelves
food for demanding bellies
barter with the devil
should they get tested and miss work
or work to feed their family
should they risk to lose their homes
their families on the street?
no benefits protect these heroes
what else can they then do?

winter locks the world
…again
this virus holds them prisoners
scientists work around the clock
companies start producing
new remedies for the world
but…
our fears and egotism
controls human behaviour
politics gets in the mix
add greed and nepotism
all powerful yet fatal

leaders and wealth
put the world at risk again
the rich’s win will be short lived…
the poor …we’re still not sure…

I wonder which is worse
which virus is more contagious?
which germ destroys the most?

corona or inhumanity?
who cares…
they all  are now bedfellows.

the world bleeds…

© tournesol 2021 01 30

Lean on me (troiku)

(c) clr’21 Richmond Hill, On.

a new dawn
daisies lift their heads to the sky
shimmering star

a new dawn
heart fills with butterflies
quiver with joy

daisies lift their heads to the sky
searching
morning promise

shimmering star
butterflies sip sweet nectar,
spreading hope in gold

© Tournesol’ 2021/01/10

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(c) clr '2021 Lake Wilcox, Richmond Hill, ON. Canada

Dear Emma – Decemember 24, 2020

 

Image may contain: cat and indoor
(c) clr 2020 Bette and Kali

Dear Emma,

It’s Christmas Eve and here I sit reflecting on my life during this global pandemic. I think I must have a few more wrinkles since March. I always used to say my lines were signs of life because I was very expressive. I laughed from my belly [sometimes too loudly], I smiled a lot in public even to strangers, which of course, add more lines around the mouth and eyes and I cry A LOT. I cry when I laugh too much; I cry when I am moved by beauty [my daughter singing in a choir as a child, my children driving 6 hours to visit me, my grandson’s birth, my son receiving his first award in primary school, my son’s first child born in a time of despair bringing hope to us and unity to the family, my mom coming to visit me after a long absence and any movie and touching commercial…the list is far too long].
This year, I have bursts of tears when I listen to the news, watch children walking with their family and distancing themselves from strangers, children in the park with masks and mothers who look so worn and tired…moments of reality like that open the flood gates and it lasts a few seconds until the next outburst.

So much has changed and yet has not. We all are experiencing Covid Fatigue [Yes! that’s a thing and it includes Zoom meetings fatigue for remote workers. I hear the difference on the crisis lines from March to December… it has changed. I feel fortunate to be able to hear their stories from youths from 5 to 29. Such a heavy load to carry at their age. I imagine the 20’s, 30’s and 40 somethings have an unknown future. Jobs will be changing for them and I imagine colleges and universities will be developing new programmes to fit with the new “times”. The saddest part is that they will be carrying the burden of our nation’s debt for many years to come. In Canada and even moreso in Quebec, social benefits are so different than our southern neighbours and other parts of the world…but we may be more aligned with European countries where health and welfare of all citizens is accessible. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to live in a place where health care is not free and only the “haves” have a better chance in life but the “havenots” are left to their own means which means not very much. It is inconceivable, no shocking and shameful in industrialized and rich countries,  to see how access to good health services is not a right.

I remember when we started paying the government for our universal health care when it started…oh, we grumbled for sure if we were the lucky ones who were never ill and did not have to go to hospital and many ordinary people had Blue Cross which helped for hospitalizations. I know my sister paid her OBGYN after she gave birth for several years! But the first ten or so years after it was put in place, hospitals would send us a bill that we did not have to pay but it was a statement listing all the costs of our time there. It was shocking to see how one hospitalization could put a person in debt and how a surgery would force some to sell their homes. Yes, this is something we have come to expect…it is a right and I am grateful for that.

With the realities of what we are living, at least I don’t have to worry about how much hospital costs will come up to if ever I get sick. 60 to 80% of my medication is paid…sure I pay every year to the government a lump sum because I am still working part time but when I am no longer working and living only on my old age pension, I will not have to worry. Now if only dentists were part of the deal…[sigh]

I had not connected with friends for a few months when I lost my voice in November. I had to preserve it and when I started back to work on 2 hours a shift on the counselling lines. My GP and ENT both say it was due to my chronic sinus problems and GERD. Who knew that your digestive system could damage vocal cords? Okay well, I had no idea and my ENT also added that clearing my throat like I do so often is very damaging. I don’t want to blame it on the virus or stress because these are things that have been going on for years and I had no idea it could damage anything…I just thought it was uncomfortable and I bought a special pillow to prevent  problems. Yeah, yeah, I know that my weight gain surely has not helped. In February with my busy months preparing for the move to my condo, I managed to lose 10 pounds just by being so busy and then I “found” them…I guess my body missed them. [chuckling]
I like to walk a lot but with this virus, I got a bit paranoid and limited my walks which then affected my health both physical and emotional. I needed to start practising what I was preaching.

Family and friends tell me it’s because I have a sedentary job but actually, the three days I DO work, when I get a call I usually walk around my dining room and living room and manage to do 5,000 steps easily. Of course I do believe it is the routine of getting up mornings, rushing to walk to the bus stop, walking up and down the stairs at the Metro and then walking to work…those were regular healthy walks twice a day. I keep telling myself, “Tomorrow, I’m going to pretend I am taking the bus and walk to the bus stop and then walk around the perimeter until I have done my 2 to 3 km and then start my shift. But do I do it? No, I sleep in longer because I get to bed too late and struggle to fall asleep so after 4 to 5 hours of sleep, I roll out of bed about 45 mins before I start taking calls. This is NOT good…I know.

It’s cold outside now and if I do go out like I did last week to the park at -22C and good lord, it takes about 15 mins to get dressed with all the necessary layers and then attach my mask to a special tie I purchased to slip under my chin and scarf once I am alone outside. I suppose walking in winter is a good idea since less people go out.

I have to say I am proud to see so many seniors walking their dog two to three times a day like clockwork…I bet dogs have never been so happy this year. My cats are happy to have me with them and Kali, my youngest cat who is so soft and silky I loved stroking her fur but she would bite me due to overstimulation but with my being home all the time, she has learned to crave my touch without biting…ah, to sit in my arm chair with Bette on her bench next to me (does not like to be held) and Kali draping her long slender black silken body on my chest, neck or lap (she decides, but of course) and relaxing to the purrs. That surely is a stress reliever…who needs medication?!

My goodness, I am going on and on again, Emma, and the first thought I had before starting this journal entry has not even been addressed. I guess I needed to talk in my mind and let my fingers tell you a thing or two that has gone on in my life lately.

Oh, yes, this is what I meant to start off my narrative…I was speaking to a friend this week and telling her that I reflected (a year of reflection is an understatement!) on how I felt. I asked myself, is this really the worse time of your life? And it dawned on me that there have been certainly other times in my life where I was much more stressed, depressed and felt so alone in my suffering. There were times I felt like I was drowning and only touching the surface briefly to take in a bit of air of sustenance and back down that black, cold hole at the bottom of the ocean. When I think back on those times, I realize I am truly fine and fortunate. I have a home, enough money to pay for the hiked up grocery bills, I am healthy and lucky enough to work remotely a few days a week which allows me to sleep nights not worrying about food and shelter. Yes, there are things I may have to change…like the humble amount I put aside to repair and remodel my bathroom (the shower will do) because I realize I may have to put thousands $$ on my teeth when I feel safe enough to take public transit and see my dentist next year…I was very upset and angry at times because I felt I only had about 2 years left to be able to travel a bit before I retire on my old age pension and 2 yrs is what will be the time before it will be safe enough to travel…so I need to be content with what I do have. I realize my life has had many hiccups and changes and I adjusted, and the most important thing is that now is a time to truly be mindful of each day and embrace what I do have. A new grandbaby and I have purchased items for when she can some day sleep over with Nana, my grandson who has his driver’s license already! can come to visit me and his school is just around the corner, so I may be blessed with more than I can handle [I can’t wait].

During boxing day week I plan to get a decent gaming monitor wich will be excellent for me to work with/writing and company gaming;  I want to slowly clear out the guest room to be multifunctional…bedroom/tv room for kids/ craft room. I know that is a lot but I have had time to save lots of DIY’s on YouTube and purchased some tools to try and do it myself. I have lots of projects I started in March and come May I lost the motivation and slipped in those dark waters for a while. I need to and want to try to get back into this frame of mind of working on projects.

Lately, I have done some knitting and crocheting projects…I knit like a six year old…so everything is simple and most times I have to redo them multiple times to come up with something decent. With Covid, I have not been able to shop and touch yarns and ordering on line is not recommended if you’re an amateur like me…[did I mention I don’t know my stuff?] but now, I have about 30  balls of yarn for future projects. I did have to put some on hold when I fell down the stairs and sprained my wrist but hey! I could have banged my head, broken my arms or legs…I was pretty darn lucky, hence the safety of my extra padding that may have saved me…so there are some advantages of being extra curvy [mischievous smile].

I am hoping to continue on this path of looking forward to day to day blessings rather than look too far ahead. A video chat with my grand-daughter so I can make my silly faces, a time to visit virtually with my son so he can tell me about his stressful day teaching at his elementary school, a wonderful chat on the phone with my dear friends…laughing, venting, crying and always ending with a belly laugh. I am blessed and 2021 will be a year, I think for me, to let go of old dreams to make room for new (more attainable) aspirations.

I wish you, Emma, and all my readers a safe holiday season…hoping people will not give in to COVID-19 fatigue and fall into complacency…that ugly invisible enemy is just waiting for us to slip and fall. Don’t give in…I am refraining from giving my 2cents to non-believers and anti-maskers, Emma, because I want to end on a hopeful and calmer note. Happy Holidays!

(c) Cheryl-Lynn 24/12/2020

Where is that darn magnet?

Image may contain: cat, table and indoor

I just published a troiku (4 haikus piggy backing on one another) here in describing my daily thoughts and that inspired me to write a bit more, so I looked up Linda G Hill’s Saturday prompt of Stream of Consciousness and I decided to free flow write now before turning in and will post Saturday…

There are so many deliveries these past months that I cannot keep up with cutting up boxes to put out for recycling. My guest room is part library, part Kali’s room (my beautiful black cat) and where I have a make shift pantry where I put non perishable food that I don’t FEEL like WASHING the containers so it sits there for at least a week. It is enough that I wash anything new that comes in the house…I have become the twin sister of Detective Monk. I think the world has turned to Monk [chuckles]

I have received a few Christmas cards but yesterday I did receive a beautiful “first time ever” family Christmas portrait/card…homemade of course but still. My son, his beautiful wife and baby Lara sitting on mama’s knees. Well, let me tell you, I made room right at the centre of my fridge door and placed the magnets properly to ensure it does not fall. Then I notice a few picture needed shifting a bit to the left and others a bit to the right and then I heard one of the tiny round magnets fall to the floor. I got on my knees…and lordy lordy, getting on my knees hurts even more now that I have added more pandemic weight but search under the fridge, under the stove…the sink…nada! I sure hope it went far far so Kali does not try to swallow it. Of course I know her, she would just play with it like a hockey puck or soccer ball. If any cat could join a sports team, it would be Kali. She just moves those two front paws at such speed and finesse too!

So now that I have written this, I feel a bit guilty and worried and will pull the fridge and stove to find that darn magnet.

© Cheryl-Lynn

Written for The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday) Dec. 19/20