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

 

 

Autumn Thoughts – Waka – September 29, 2016

 

 

fence

near the roadside
a weed covered fence
and old dead leaves
no warbling blackbird sings
smell the burning bond fires

the train passes
screeching iron on iron
the earth shakes
then silence fills the air
crashing waves of silence

old man and woman
passing in an autumn day
each lost in thought
memories of the days gone by
no thoughts for tomorrow

sidewalk cafe
drinking bitter espresso
here – a crying babe
there – shadows dance in the street
McCartney sings “Let it be”

© Gsk ‘16

 

Dreams of spring – Tanka – September 12, 2016

Carpe Diem Special #218 Dolores’ 2nd “dreaming of spring”

This is the second special dedicated to Dolores of   “Ada’s Poetry Alcove”, a tanka about life’s cycle:

autumn
flowers drop their petals
summer gone
they sleep in cold earth
dreaming of spring

© Dolores

And here is our host’s lovely tanka:

a last leaf
fights with the fall storm
its color fades
struggling against the wind
it surrenders

© Chèvrefeuille

And now for my attempt:

leaf in wet grass

autumn
as two lovers kiss
on a park bench
even without blackbird song
spring dreams return

© Gsk ‘16

Daily Haiku and Waka – Mini Anthology – July 28, 2016

June 18, 2016

departure_small

anonymous –
awaiting departure calls
travel daze

© Gsk ’16

June 19, 2016

fountain_small

the sound of water
serenity in chaos
St Louis hotel

© Gsk ’16

June 20, 2016

Porto Marghera_small

 – Porto Marghera
home is always beautiful
in all its aspects

© Gsk ’16

July 23, 2016

Rimini_smallevery year –
summer Italian style
sand, sun and sea

© Gsk ’16

July 25, 2016

Rimini_3_small

Rimini
amarcord and Fellini
on harbour canal

© Gsk ’16

sandy slippersbw_raindrops

Rimini
amarcord and Fellini
on harbour canal

© Gsk ’16

July 27, 2016

thunder-storm
in a flash of light
the sky opens

© Gsk ’16

Change – Choka – July 19, 2016

frosted lake

another passing
another moment of change
another heart-break
more tears to water my cheeks
and each moment feels
like my heart can stand no more
yet the road goes on
and the wheels keep turning ’round
another passing
another moment of change
but life continues
each morning the sun rises
the cocks crow loudly
the rain still falls – winds still blow
telling me all’s well
I miss you, my once good friend
there’s no passing here
you only gave in and up
I cry for the dead
they are forever gone now
they have no choice left
their fight is over
it’s for you that I despair
for you my heart breaks
this other kind of passing
this other moment of change

© Gsk ’16

B&P’s Shadorma & Beyond – July 16, 2016 – Write a Choka or Shadorma about “Change”

Journey – Experimental Quadrille – July 19, 2016

Music Box_small

Yes, the journey
began like all journeys
one step at a time

Some songs were sung
and some anthems played
yes, they shared a few tears

one became famous
one became homeless
the other died

And I – watched the music box
go ’round and ’round

© Gsk ’16

I came across this consignment from dVerse whilst visiting a fellow poet’s site (Write a poem in 44 words with the word “journey”) – it seemed interesting so I thought I’d give it a try … the poet is Candy from RHYMESWITHBUG and her poem is entitled: Summer Journeys.

Unfortunately I also read on dVerse that our dear fellow poet Vivi from VivinFrance passed away on July 5th … this will be such a loss for all of us.  My sympathies go to her family for their profound loss.

I remember when I first met Vivi – she advised me to buy Stephen Fry’s  “The Ode Less Travelled” (which I did) so that I might find a more fluent way to write poetry … rhythm instead of syllable counting (which I still like to do very much).  I’ll miss visiting Vivi’s posts an enjoying her dry humour.

And still I watch the music box go ’round and ’round … and another tear falls.

Thoughts on Emptiness- Haibun – July 5, 2016

leaf in the water

I’ve been back home in Italy for a couple of weeks now and oddly enough I haven’t done much in the way of writing.  I’ve thousands of photos, lots of memories and ideas but oddly enough not much energy.  Could it be jet lag?  Could it be nostalgia?

This has been a period when many of my friends too have been having problems.  Some have had marriage break-ups, others have lost a parent or close relative, the children have grown and left home – financial problems are beginning to erode their serenity – they’ve gone into retirement or their retirement has been blocked – and I’m a listener, their listener.

One of my friends broke-up with her husband and then her Mom died just a couple of weeks before my Mom. She wanted the break-up and found her own apartment and works hard at her job to build her career – but that hasn’t saved her from melancholia.  The void of change, even change actively sought after, is disorientating.

So there it is. The void.  Wholes rent in ones life once filled with another person or situation. A father, husband, wife, child, job, project suddenly gone and with them, all the fantasies, illusions, expectations and familiarity of a rapport – of the status quo. It’s odd sometimes that emptiness would seem to be so welcome, like after a long stressful illness or an abusive rapport, but when the moment comes, one risks being sucked into the emptiness. That’s when it begins to seem easier to put things off, maybe go take a nap, read a book or drown in the TV or a video game.  Some people drown in drink or drugs, like another friend of mine.  The common denominator among all my friends is emptiness.  And if they happen to decide to go to a health worker, they may be diagnosed with depression and they’ll probably be prescribed a pill or two to get through the day.  So then they drift with pills when what they really wanted was something that would help them overcome the emptiness.

So I return to the first paragraph I wrote here as I realize that my problem right now is that void caused by all the repentine changes in the last nine months of my life.  They’ve been a roller-coaster ride in a way.  I’ve made many changes and haven’t made many others that I really would have liked to have made – it seems that my life is living me instead of me living my life.  I do know what the problem is but I don’t know where to find the energy to move on, especially as I don’t dwell on my problems consciously – perhaps that is what I have to do.

Zen has often been an aid to me throughout my life but I’ve given no thought to Zen in the past few months, except as an abstract idea.  What I have around me now is the roaring sound of one hand clapping … and I’m mistaking the moon in the puddle for the real moon. Where is the emptiness and more importantly where is the fullness – the reality and the illusion?

In Zazen one sits (or walks meditatively).  No books or films or distractions – one sits seeking nothing observing everything.  One listens to what is around one … thoughts are leaves blowing in the wind.

red autumn leaf
water splashes – a fountain
rain drops falling

© Gsk ’16