Category Archives: troibun

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

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

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)

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

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

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

 

reflections (haibun)

31,479 hours and still counting…

31, 479 hours to date, she has picked up the phone or sat at her desk replying to youths on the world wide web. She wonders how many hours one has to work before they start seeing pink rabbits and blue dinosaurs…

purple turtles
crawling ever slowly
weight on her heart

purple turtles
light and vulnerable
once upon a time

crawling ever slowly
feeding on every teardrop
nutrients within

weight on her heart
so called “innovation”
betrayed by giants

Giants make important decisions but may not have all the variables. Sadly, they are too tall and high, they cannot always hear the true believers…

hearts beating
to the sounds of their cries
fears, pain and suffering

Pushing the heart to beat faster, longer; lungs that sometimes collapse…not enough time to come up for air; maintenance does not seem to be the giant’s option. Push harder, drown, bury, replace, rebranding…looking to the future, they stick their chests out snapping their suspenders woven out of self-righteousness. Gatekeepers hold onto to their purple turtles so they don’t slip away. Hiding from poachers and giants who claim that Father Knows Best.

pink rabbits scatter
creating a diversion
blue dinosaurs roam

pink rabbits scatter
compassion their fuel
keeping turtles safe

creating a diversion
here, there, up and down
giants can’t keep up

blue dinosaurs roam
keeping watch night and day
the Universal Rule

when does an ideal begin to crumble?
what happens to noble dreams?
why do new stakeholders falter?
where have those primary dreamers gone?
when have visionaries replaced compassion and humility?
why have giants slipped away so far…from that Golden Rule?

She remembers going to see a new mechanic in Mississauga in 1997 when she had just moved to GTA. Her car had just passed the five year mark and was no longer on warranty. She had a list in October…to change the spark plugs, oil and filter and clean or change the brakes. She had her winter tires (which very few had there but she was from Montreal…better safe than sorry was their motto).

Mike, the mechanic (Yeah, I know like the song) did the oil change and put on her snow tires and told her everything else was fine. He told her that always cleaned brakes when doing an oil change; he said, “A garage will never make much money from a customer like you, Cl. You come in October to prepare your car for the winter…most people come around in at the end of November or even December and often when their car won’t start…prevention and good maintenance is the key to keep your car for a long time.” Of course, the winters were not as cold and snowy as in Quebec and that car held on up to 2008. The motor was still fine (thank you Mitsubishi) but it was not as safe to travel to visit her family in Quebec…her ailing mother and beautiful grandson merited more visits now.

She required a more dependable vehicle to manage the trek from Toronto to Montreal. A humble 4 cylinder, Eagle Summit was still working after 16 years, however. It felt as if it was time for retirement, but she would not be able to visit it as it; it would now be running slower and less frequently. Just like we do when we retire…we put less demand on ourselves, stretching our lives with quality time and less stress.

Isn’t that how dependable and high functioning people should be treated in a workplace? Maintaining their overall health which includes physical and mental wellbeing is crucial. Is she wrong in believing this?

pushing
faster, harder
dropping like flies

© Tournesol 19-10-08

Daily Moments  October 8 2019

Daily moments September 25, 2019 “missing Dom’ ” ~Troibun

 

You know how the smells of certain food, the images of certain things like flowers or sounds like a song all bring you back in time reminding you of that special someone?  Time stops for a moment to allow you to place yourself back with that person. That is what was happening today as she waited by the stove preparing her lunch. 

The eggs were simmering over roasted garlic and rice.  It would take a few minutes longer, she knew, but they would be “just right”, like that amazing omelette she had years ago in her friend’s kitchen in St Basil le Grand.  She remembers sitting at the counter and chatting with her as she would go back and forth leisurely but expertly, to the stove, preparing their brunch.

miss her smile
warm and genuine hugs
shimmering baby blues

miss her smile
sharing joys of music
blues and indie songs

warm and genuine hugs
former colleague that became her friend
on her first shift

shimmering baby blues
telling so many stories
spill with emotion

© Tournesol ‘19/09/25

Daily moments September 25, 2019  missing Dom’   Troibun