Category Archives: Tournesol dans un jardin

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 

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

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 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

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