Samara Ennui – Haibun – November 6, 2018


I’m writing, doing what I’ve always dreamt of doing, I’m enthusiastic, I feel revitalized.  People are reading my work, liking it and giving me great suggestions that help me better my work, I feel part of a community … and then I don’t.

Sure, I’d had some bad moments recently in my life, but I kept up my writing and my photography kept on going but at a certain point, for no apparent reason, I found I hadn’t turned on my computer for months.  What happened?  Why did I stop?

I’ve always been a pretty creative sort of person, although not a creative genius.  Since I can remember I’ve always passed hours enjoying my painting, drawing and writing.  I easily pick up skills, I’m a quick study as they say, so I had no problems learning how to sew, crochet, sculpt, cook or whatever else came my way including learning anatomy and acupuncture meridians and points.  But, and there’s a big but, since puberty, I periodically go into more or less long periods of ennui.

I slip into a sort of limbo, where nothing seems very important to me at all.  I pass hours (days at a time) reading or watching TV series.  I do get out of bed because I abhor an unmade bed. I eat whatever is at hand (usually nothing particularly healthy) just as long as it’s quick and fills me up.  I don’t live in chaos, my house though not spotlessly clean is fairly orderly, I make sure of that because I hate being in a messy dirty place.  I drift through life, doing the minimum necessary to get through the day. Fortunately, as I’ve grown older, self-preservation has guaranteed that I keep a life-line open to the outside world.  I do have a couple of friends with whom I never lose contact with completely.

Then one day, something changes … I take a look at myself and my life and a tiny spark glitters.  It may take weeks or months but I become constantly more dissatisfied with drifting.  I realize that I’ve become overweight, that I haven’t done much of anything interesting for a long time, that I’m bored with my books and the TV.  I start looking into diets and exercise (just looking). I get the urge to write or sew myself a new outfit or paint a picture (just the urge).  I become frustrated and panicky. Then the looking around becomes watching what I eat and going for walks, joining a dance class and bicycling.  The urge becomes turning on the computer, looking through models for a new outfit, and choosing a great piece of material.  Usually at this point  my life has started to move again.

I don’t really know why this happens to me.  I’ve gone through analysis, I’ve meditated, I’ve had great mentors throughout my life who’ve stimulated me giving my life a sense of meaning … for a while anyway.  But eventually, there it is, the chasm of ennui into which I slip (not fall) and the cycle begins again. The drifting isn’t painful and I don’t even feel bored.  It’s when I move on, when I become aware that maybe there can be more to my life than books and TV,  the awakening, which is the painful part, fraught with anxiety and impatience to move on.

Have you or anyone you’ve known gone through this sort of thing?  I’d like to read about it, so please leave comments below and let me know.

winter snowflakes
passion gives way to
spring dawn
a never-ending cycle
my Samsara ennui



20 thoughts on “Samara Ennui – Haibun – November 6, 2018

  1. I’m still in that phase…the books are getting tedious…I’m rereading the same chapter because I forget…my mind drifts…Netflix and movie streaming keep me in a vegetated state. A new kitten is waking me up though and some youtube cat funnies but still withdrawn from friends and family. Writing now and then…most times it lingers in my mind. I take a photo of the last colours of fall this morning with some lines stringing together in my mind but later I’m curled up in the guest room with my duvet and Kali, my new black cat trying to soothe my arthritic bones. Four days off to withdraw and three days I work. Thank goodness I still work, it forces me out with the living listening to the pain, suffering and abuse. It happens off and on with me too bit this time seems to be lagging more. However brief I show my face here with a few lines, this community is truly a duvet of comfort ….many times, my lifeline because most bloggers get it. Gros câlin ma chère amie 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mia Cara, I get the aches and pains I care barely walk after a session at my desk for about 5 minutes. I imagine myself looking at this old woman I’ve become which bothers me up to a certain point.
      Things started falling apart after my Mom died in the summer of 2016. I didn’t really think it would be a big deal and it wasn’t at the time. I’ve been gone from the States for over 40 years and we weren’t really close. That happened about 6 months after my husband died … which again didn’t seem to be a big deal. I never got those overwhelming senses of loss or guilt or anger etc. I’ve gone through some pretty bad stuff including a civil war in my lifetime and I guess that’s put a damper on my emotions. However, it’s usually something “traumatic” like this that shuts me down. The only time it went the opposite way was when my first husband left me. I blossomed then …
      Thanks for your feedback Tournesol – I feel like we could be sisters reading your comment. I do have stray haiku in my mind, I go out and forget to take photographs or forget my camera or take the photos and then forget about them.
      Ah I saw that your little lady passed away…when did this happen? Your new kitten is so cute! When do you go into retirement? Un grande bacio …


  2. Hi Bastet, a link to this post popped up in my Facebook feed and I’m very glad it did. I am going through an intensive version of the state you write of. In early October I became ill with pneumonia and was hospitalized for over week. When I got home I drifted into a daze of tv and frozen meals heated. In the mmicrowave. The last few days I am starting to come out of that and am now at the thinking about exercise, creativity etc without doing much. Its good to read that you came out of tthat stage too into aa new way of living. Not sure if I will write a haibun on it but I am thinking about it. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Suzanne, as an ex shiatsu therapist I can tell you that it’s absolutely normal for you to drag around after pneumonia … which makes me think that perhaps, psychologically speaking my problem may be with my metal … which having been in my ennui state I never even thought about … I’m so happy for you that you’re moving on from that stage. I hope that I am moving on too, for the moment I feel more energized and enthusiastic, I’ve got my fingers crossed that this isn’t a false start. Here’s a link to an interesting article about the element metal:
      Thanks for dropping me a line and I hope you’ll be past the thinking of exercising and writing soon …. lots of hugs 🙂


      • Hi Georgia, I did have a bit of a breakthrough yesterday afternoon which I blogged about here
        In Chinese astrology I am the element Earth. I tend to plod on through things even when they knock for a six at first. I think it was the shock of getting so ill so quickly that really affected me. It was so utterly unlike anything I have experienced before.
        I still get breathless sometimes but I am making progress every day thank goodness. Deep meditation and healing visualizations have been very helpful.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hello again!! I can imagine that being hospitalized for pneumonia can knock one for a loop. As far as my personal tendency I tend towards water but I was born in the year of the dragon. As far as oriental medicine is concerned when there is imbalance in metal due to grief, for example, then you have certain manifestations, in your health, depending if your metal is jjitsu (full) or kyo (empty) which may or may not be exacerbated by your base element. Even pneumonia in oriental medicine is just not pneumonia. It might be wet or dry for example. Anyway, I think you are so right to be doing deep mediation and healing visualization which is all to the good. Reading you has been most stimulating Suzanne.


    • Thanks for dropping by. Sometimes I guess it’s physiological to need to sit back and just let life drift by for a while. There can be a lot going on that we’re very good at hiding, or at least I am. I tend to not “indulge” my emotions which is a way I guess to say that I repress them, so in bad moments something has to give.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just now getting around to seeing this. My muses have left the US. I cannot afford to follow them. I have been in a funk since Nov. 8, 2016. That is when the ugliest of the ugly American faces showed its power at the polls. To realize that this many people are filled with hate, greed and belief in con men has left me, well, befuddled. I have lived with and been treated for depression and anxiety for decades. 2002 saw a marked improvement when PTSD was diagnosed and treated. As I have grown older I have chosen to become more folded inward. I can spend only a certain length of time in the world then I need the quiet of home. The quiet companionship of my husband. I recently noted I live my life like MAGA only with a different meaning, Medical Appointments Grandkid Activities. Since relocating from Missouri to Texas 5 years ago I have chosen to not make new friends. Living in an apartment complex means the neighbors are mostly transient. Choosing to not become involved in a religious organization has been another way to become more isolated. Even my camera is not working correctly. No writing, no photographs, just Books, Blogs and stares. I still walk daily and am working to remove the Holiday weight bump. I spent time last week with my sisters caring for the oldest following knee replacement. Joining the younger sister for dinner with her grandkids and husband. Visited with a high school friend and watched her granddaughter perform the lead roll in the musical, Hello Dolly. But this week the quiet calls and no muses in the quiet. And for now I am fine with all this. May you find a place where you are at peace.


in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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