Category Archives: tanka

…Mom (tanka)

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

Mom June 22, 1926-Dec 2, 2014

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

© Tournesol ‘21/05/10/09

a Big covid day ~ Daily Moments ~ Haibun Apr 8 2021

Today was the big day!! Yep, my daughter was kind enough to take time off her busy work day to pick me up and drive me to get my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.  It’s done!  I feel fine and so grateful it is over…thankful to my daughter and every person working or volunteering in this project.

Okay, that is now but last night I was worried.  I had a sore throat for the past two days and a sinus headache last night.  I have chronic rhinitis and some allergies so all this is NORMAL but when you are getting an important vaccine, your mind plays tricks on you…especially if you are a worry wart.

So I got up at 4am and called the health line and the nurse said I should be fine. I mentioned that I heard you are not supposed to take Tylenol the morning of the vaccination and asked if I could take Advil…she had not heard about this but mentioned that Advil has more side effects and did not recommend it.  I took care of my throat and sinuses with salt and a good rinse a few times, then honey/lemon drops. Yeah, that worked!   I know I was being silly but the mind does what the mind wants sometimes.

By the time I got to the centre which is an old Loblaws (grocer) building, I walked in the building and waited my turn at the gate.  There were 5 lines.  I never saw so many old people in one spot….haha, yeah, it was like looking at me, times 500.  There were more single people than couples.  I mention this only because a couple told me a few weeks ago how they were shocked about this.  I had never really noticed that. Of course it depends where you are in your own life. 

As I waited at the glass door for my turn to get through the glass door and register, I saw all the stations, and rows and rows of people…my heart started pounded, my throat tightened and I struggled to breathe. The more I paid attention to what was going on in my body, the harder it was to breathe.  I quickly scolded myself…telling myself, “Okay, stop it! Now count 5 things you can see…keep looking at what you can actually see!!”  I never got to what I hear or smell…just grounding myself with instructions to myself to articulate in my mind each item I could see and my breathing returned.  Nothing like trying to practice what you preach…and it works!

As I entered, I was told to remove my mask and with cooking thongs, the person gave me a new surgical mask.  Then I was told to get in the line and follow.  I was relieved to see there were markers that were 2 metres apart.  The couple behind me kept moving closer…I looked over my shoulder a few times and they got the message…well, okay, the last time I did look, I gave them “the Mother Look”.   Haha, I think the man got it and told his partner.  I realize when you are with another person, chatting, you can lose track of the distancing.  But let’s face it, we still have to be careful, and I think I will remain a bit strict in that area for a long time to come. 

One of my pet peeves pre-pandemic times are people who hover too close to you standing in line especially at the cash register when I am paying. It really irks me!  I would turn my back to them in the past…now I have found the courage to say, “Could you back up please” and if they stay put, I will add, “Back up! have a little respect for others. My space is also protecting you.”  I guess this is one thing the pandemic has taught me, to assert myself and when that doesn’t work…be a bit little aggressive. Before I would sigh out of frustration or once on my own, cry and be sad that there are some people who just don’t care about others. 

I realize that is a generalization and that some are just so covid fatigued, apathy has instilled and depression…so I know I need to be aware of that when asking to respect the 2-metre space.

By the time I got to register for the actual vaccine, I asked the gentleman which one was I getting and he ticked off “Pfizer”…yay!!  then I moved on to another person to answer questions about my health etc an in no time I was sitting at the station.  A lovely lady introduced herself giving me her name and profession…she is a pharmacist. I asked her questions I was concerned about and she was patient and did not rush me off.  Then I moved on to the section to sit and wait for 15 minutes. During that time a gentleman came over to ask for my vaccination“receipt” and added the date of my next vaccination in July…and voilà! As I waited the 15 minutes, my daughter texted me to ask if I was ok. I love her so much for caring and bringing me here and waiting.  I know she is very busy with her work as a manager and teenage boys, but she did not complain.  I texted her to tell her I was going out to wait and the sun was glorious!  Many people were sitting waiting for their rides and the man next to me had pulled down his mask and was coughing…hmmm, not too bright…so I moseyed on away from him a good 20 feet!

I feel so fortunate having adult children who care…taking time away from their busy schedule to drive Mom around for something like this.  However, I do look forward to my 2nd dose so I can jump on the bus, rent a car and get around…drop by to visit them rather than they coming to pick me up.  Covid has aged my habits by a good 15 years, meaning, no longer driving (since I do not own a vehicle) and afraid to take public transit to get around and taking the bus to the car rental place.  I say aged because I know my kids worry about me due to my lack of mobility as well for my health. 

I have spasms of weeping for a few seconds most days worrying about our future but they are short lived.  I can talk myself out of negativity.  Talking to a few friends and of course family and virtual chats with my grand-daughter uplifts me all the time.  I find myself closer in many ways to my children and have grown even closer to my friend/soul sister 650 kms away.  It IS so important to connect with a few people who you can laugh, bitch, cry and laugh with, at the drop of a hat.

I have indulged in too much screen time but watching so many medical shows that are American, I feel so fortunate to be living in a country where we all pitch in to pay that little extra on our paycheques so we can benefit with free health care no matter who you are.  Sure a few private clinics have surfaced due to the high demand but people who have insurance and/or can afford this …fine.  I know I can walk into a hospital and not worry about being charged anything except for a private room maybe but other than that, I do not have to put off getting medical attention because I don’t have a better insurance coverage or am not wealthy.  I never had to wait until I was 65 in order to get any  kind of health coverage.  So, yeah, I feel blessed living here.

I am thankful I still can work part time from home, eat well, (well, maybe too much these days) and live in a comfortable condo with all the amenities I need in walking distance.

I can’t wait for things to open up so I can slowly prepare for retirement…to explore more passions where I can volunteer…maybe find one or two places for diversity.  I am not ready to stop until I know I can stay active.

plants forming buds
others are late bloomers
still… feel the movement
life is slowly awakening
beauty once again

© tournesol ‘2021-04-08

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 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 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)

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

 

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.

 

pre-dawn delight (haibun)

On my way to work yesterday at 6:30 A.M. I could not help but notice the sky.  Of course it was still dark but my eye was drawn to that gorgeous thin slice of a moon.

Mischievous wink
In the predawn sky
one swift brush stroke

Like a message in a bottle
My precious crescent moon

And then to make the day even more perfect, I see my daughter on the bus with her partner.  Working evenings for the past 10 years, I have missed so much!  What a way to start my day seeing my beautiful princess and my son in law.  That added a little skip and a jump to my  walk from the Métro to the office, alright!

early morning shift
a bounce in each step
a mother’s heart swells

(c) Tournesol ‘2019-12-24