Long Ago

My first job was in data processing. The night shift gave me the day to enjoy the city. I mounted magnetic tape onto drives as tall I was. It was a job that begged to be automated. That was long ago. Like Sisyphus, I can still see myself mounting those tapes only to take them down again.

My walk to work led past the Art Institute. I spent an hour each afternoon wandering through the exhibits. I can still see some of them.

One of the benefits of membership, at least in those days, long ago, in what I would even call the mysterious dark ages of my life, was the free coffee that the Institute offered in the afternoon. I became a regular around four in the afternoon with a dozen retirees who were always there and a few strangers who might wander in some afternoon and whom we would never see again. I can still taste that coffee.

Through daydreams blow the breeze of memory.
When shadows break I look and sometimes see.


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday.  Jilly is hosted with the challenge to the traditional form.

Photos: “Blue and Green”, above, and “Red and Green”, below.

Red and Green

Silent Sound

While walking through a garden what I see, and what I miss, is filtered through words sounding through my mind. I don’t talk out-loud to myself.  I make sure these words stays quiet: silent words, silent sounds.  I don’t mind my mind doing this. I enjoy the company unless it’s noisy, offering a wintry mood to a spring day.

There are times when I look about and my mind goes silent on its own. I assume, like me, that it is also stunned, as if to say, but not saying anything, staying really silent this time, “Isn’t that beautiful!”

LEAVES WAKE UP ON OAKS
SPRING LOOKS OUT AT EVERYONE
SILENT SMILING SOUND


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. I am hosting this week with the theme “silent sound”, whatever that means to you.

Photos: “Ivy”, above, and “Oak Beauty”, below.

Oak Beauty

 

Compassion

Compassion proves we can get outside ourselves, boxed in as we are conceptually as individuals, deluded in our isolation, but those who have it don’t need proof much as they don’t need proof of anything that shows our humanity. They know all of this and more is real.

RAIN CLOUDS OR SUN SHINE
THE BIRDS STAY CLOSE TOGETHER
TWO KNOW TRUTH AS ONE


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Xenia Tran is hosting with the theme of compassion.

Photos: “New Leaves Sharing a Tree”, above, and “Sharing the Park”, below.

Sharing the Park

Walking to the Botanic Garden

We live close enough to the botanic garden that I can easily walk there. It is even easier to bicycle there, but usually the bicycle comes along for deeper rides on forest preserve trails. The problem with a bike is where to park it when I am tired biking and want to walk.

Finding where to park my mind is difficult, too, even when walking. I wonder, why park it at all? Just let it enjoy itself, as long as it is really enjoying itself and not making me anxious. Should I meditate? Do I walk straight enough? Are there any good movies to watch? Should I be on a keto diet? My mind has plenty to keep it busy dedicated to saving me from fanciful stuff.

That’s why I carry a phone. Rarely does anyone need to call me although an app helps my family locate me. The phone has a camera. When I see something unusual my eyes take me out of my head and I take a picture. Not all of the pictures I take are good. Some have too much light. Some don’t feel interesting. Some make me wonder, did I really see it that way? Some I’m glad I took.

FOLLOW THE BLUE BLOOMS
PROOF THAT SPRING WOKE UP TODAY
TURNING SUMMER ON


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Bjorn is hosting with the theme of “walking”.

Photos: “Willow Trees Realize It Is Spring”, above, and “Blue Guides the Way”, below.

Blue Guides the Way

Lingering Day

Some days I get out of bed and all the night’s rest must have organized something because things appear obvious at least the things that I am aware of. There is much that I am not aware of and that by default isn’t clear because I am not even aware of it.

That lack of clarity is also a good thing. It gives me reason to go to sleep again tonight, trust the muse to do whatever she wants, so I can awaken with a new present, painful or not. And if there should be pain, I will be searching through whatever opportunity sorrow provides to find joy.

EVENING TAKES MY HAND
LINGERS AS THE DAY GROWS LONG
THERE’S THE MORNING SUN


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Victoria C. Slotto is hosting with the theme of “lingering day”.

Photos: “Evening Pavement”, above, and “Sunset over Green Bay”, below.

Sunset over Green Bay

Faith

A tarot card reader told me I could predict the future, but I did not take advantage of my skill. She herself got many things right about me, or rather she got the details wrong, if one wanted to be technical about it, but the end results were all right on target, better than I expected.

That was long ago. It was the only time I ever had a reading done. I thought at the time I was skeptical enough, but I realize now that I believed every word she said. Today I am more skeptical of doctors tempting me with drugs than I am of tarot readers pushing what? Best wishes? Some good advice on what to be cautious about?

I looked for her when opportunity brought me back to that area to thank her and tell her that she was right about everything of value. I didn’t expect she would still be there, but I checked anyway. Her dark shop in the hotel lobby was replaced by a well-lit trinket merchant. No one knew what happened to her. So, instead of expressing my gratitude, I had to be satisfied with seeing a beautiful future for her through all the storms that might come to charm her life. It was basically the same future she predicted for me.

WHAT WILL COME OF US?
FLOWERS AREN’T REQUIRED TO ASK.
BLOOM, RECEIVE AND GIVE.

Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Michelle (Mish) is hosting with the theme of “faith”.

Photos: “Morning Sands to Walk on”, above, and “The Way We Bloomed Last Year”, below.

The Way We Bloomed Last Year

Learning to Write

By second grade I learned to write well enough to make short sentences. My teacher wrote that they were “Very good”. So, I wrote more and I showed them to her. She gave me another sheet of paper which encouraged me. My third grade teacher was less impressed. I stopped showing her what I wrote. That gave her more time to focus on what was bothering her.

I am older now than either of those teachers were and I realize that I’ve been like both of them at different times of my life, sometimes unreasonably patient and other times unforgivably impatient. Looking back. I forgive the impatience in my third grade teacher and hope I can forgive it in myself as well. I understand the many reasons for impatience that torment adults. I hope her life was happy because today she looks more like my daughter than a teacher.

Given all the reasons for impatience, it amazes me that any of us are blessed enough to enjoy any patience. Nonetheless there it is again as a commonplace miracle.

MOTHER SAVES THE WORK
FLOWERS YEARN TO BLOOM AGAIN
LATER OLD LEAVES FADE


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday where Toni is hosting and to Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays.

Photos: “Very Good”, above, and “Alice in Wonderland”, below.

Alice in Wonderland