A bed of roses – haibun – May 15, 2015

wet grass

“On the departure of Rotsu for Michinoku (the Northern part of Honshu)”.

kusa makara makoto no hanami shite mo koyo

a grass pillow
is the best to use when coming
to view cherry blossoms

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Today’s Carpe Diem Haiku Kai episode is all about Basho’s rather irresponsible disciple, Rotsu.  It seems this man broke a valuable tea container while being a hosted in someone’s home and instead of owning up to his error, he tried to blame another of Basho’s disciples!  Basho was very angry at the time and took quite a while in order to forgive Rotsu, but finally did, leaving a note in his will saying so before he died.

There seems to be a saying similar perhaps in Japanese and Dutch:  ‘who burns his buttocks has to sit on his blisters’  (which in this case would make a grass pillow a heaven send) and  means you have to live with your mistakes.  In English we also have a saying – “As you make your bed you must also lay in it!” but there’s another proverb that is often used, “Life isn’t a bed of roses” meaning that not everything goes as we wish which brings to mind the following haibun …

flowers pointed_3


When I was a young woman, I decided to get married.  My mother wasn’t happy with the idea and in order to bring home her discontent she used the proverb “you make your own bed”  to bring her point home that I had to face the consequences of my choice as well as “life isn’t a bed of roses” to emphasize even more the difficulty that I was bringing on myself.

I always remembered what she’d said.  Of course, she was right and I might have avoided much grief if I’d listened to her, but then, I wouldn’t have travelled as extensively as I did nor be sitting here writing haiku in Italy!  When the marriage broke up years later, I remembered what she’d said and didn’t run back home but stuck it out here in Italy and eventually married my present husband.

a bed of roses
blossoms perfume the sweet spring
though the thorns grow sharp

© G.s.k. 15

Regrets? Kyrielle Sonnet – NaPoWriMo

Christopher Ryan McKenney

Christopher Ryan McKenney

The pathway of life twists and turns …
Decisions made, well, sometimes burn
Yet though wounded I don’t regret …
The choices made – Challenges met.

The easier road sometimes chosen
Seemed so tired,  well,  maybe frozen,
Chose I, deserts and minerets …
The choices made – Challenges met.

War and conflict, I didn’t request,
Gave form, well,  to my formal protest …
No ideal theory,  no shallow threat
The choices made – Challenges met.

The pathway of life twists and turns …
The choices made – Challenges met …

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Sunday Prompt the prompt was Soul Searching Regret…and I discovered, or rather I discovered quite some time ago, that over the years, I have made peace with every decision I’ve made until now.  Some decisions were actually made by others and I followed along … which is actually a decision.  We sometimes think that we are forced to walk a pathway we would rather not take, but there is one truth we should never forget:  the responsability for our life is our own.  We can always find a way to say “no” if we are willing to pay the price of that no.  Sometimes we aren’t, and often that too has a pricetag on it.

This doesn’t apply to small children of course…and the choices they make are made adapting the world they know.  It’s only as a person grows and realizes that sometimes what they believed to be a universal truth is only, at best, relative that the responsability for the road they’re following becomes their own, and sometimes the roots are so deep, that they never even realize that there is a choice.