Walking in Circles

From the distance of a lifetime, a spiral describes it better, but the smaller ones seem circular to me like when walking from one side of the room to the other, turning around and then walking back. Or, walking to the library, standing tall with shoulders back so the air can more easily enter my lungs and my eyes can look right at it, trying to realize, even when I can’t, that everywhere I am still able to go and everything greeting me on the way from sidewalks and apartments to trees and clouds are a gift from or a hint of heaven.

I think in circles as I walk in them. Sometimes I pop those thoughts and sometimes I enjoy them again and again like that ancient story of a man and his dog that keeps coming to mind. Perhaps they died much like my ex-brother-in-law who was found burnt in an apartment fire. His dog stayed with him on his lap. It is them I see walk to the gates of heaven and find that sign, “No Dogs Allowed”. The gatekeeper confirms that there is no problem with him going in, in spite of everything, but not his dog. Since heaven wouldn’t be heaven if one were alone, I see him turn around. He takes his dog and they walk toward a scenic, spiraling path that appears before them and everywhere they go is heaven.

GEESE AND DUCKS RETURN
PEOPLE WALK THE PARK IN TWOS
FLOWERS COMING SOON


Linked with dVerse Pub Haibun Monday hosted by Toni Spencer with the theme “the best things in life are free”.

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

34 thoughts on “Walking in Circles”

  1. I’ve heard the story of the man and his dog going up to heaven and have always loved it. It is incredible the dog stayed with your uncle. Such love! I like your walking in circles as well as you think. If I remember correctly, although there were wonderful things in “heaven” the man didn’t take them because his dog wasn’t allowed. They continued down the path and came to a small house by the side of the road. A man came out and greeted them. The man who had died asked if he could have some water and the man said yes and even got a bowl for his dog. they drank deeply and asked if they could stay there because it seemed such a happy place. the man who owned the little house smiled and said, all are welcome here, even dogs. He then went on to exlain that this was the true heaven where all were welcomed. I always liked that story and liked the thoughts of one day joining my loved ones – human and animal. I liked the haiku especially. It made me smile through my tears.

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    1. I like the details of your story. I have not heard that version before. The one I heard ended with the gatekeeper watching the man and the dog leave and in the distance to his surprise finding the dog turn into some Hindu deity. I can’t remember which. I am glad you liked it. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks! I sometimes try to avoid thinking while walking and just look around me assuming that is a better way to pay attention while walking, but thoughts keep coming in and that is probably a good thing.

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    1. I remember being very moved by that story when I first read it years ago. Apparently there are variations since Toni Spencer heard one with a different ending, but the same message. I am glad you liked it.

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  2. Frank, your haibun knocked me on the floor. I am in tears, for the story within the story and the impact of your writing. Words are inadequate right now, dear heart. This is haunting and impossible to forget.

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    1. I am glad you liked it. After hearing that story about the man and his dog I couldn’t forget it either. When my former brother-in-law died with his dog, some time ago, I immediately thought of it and associated the story with them. I hope I would behave as well as that man in similar situations, not leaving anyone behind. Thank you!

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      1. Frank, some times a person writes something that changes the view and perhaps the course of thought in others. Your haibun went deep. It is still haunting me. I loved it, not liked it. Thank you for writing it. It was the most moving, genuine haibun I read.

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      2. I am honored that you loved it. The story that grounds the haibun is very old. I was worried that I might not tell it right. Your comments reassured me that I did not do it a disservice. Thank you for letting me know. As far as haunting goes, the story of the man and his dog has been haunting me for years.

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    1. The idea of “walking in circles” suggests that one is lost and can’t find a way out on one’s own. I was hoping to turn that into a spiral where one can’t ultimately be lost, although one doesn’t know it, and one has to turn around many times along the way even right at the gates of heaven. Thank you for your comment!

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