This prompt for solace hits a delicate note today. Today is the funeral of a dear friend and yesterday the passing of my husband’s aunt Mabel. I think how can I be a source of comfort for my friends and family. My tongue is not elegant, nor coated with wisdom. My part will be in hand holding and hugs, then serving and cleaning up the funeral meal to the hundred people expected. Later in the day, I will visit with in-laws. My comfort will come from and be shared in the exchange of quiet memories of a beautiful woman. I find solace in the last visit she had with the brother she raised since he was two. He suffers from Alzheimer's. I wondered if he even understood she was there. After she left, while I was with him, movement in the hallway made him call out her name. It brought me great comfort to realize the strength of love’s bond.
Looking up information and folklore about the rainbow, I found many diverse stories. The most familiar in the US are probably that of God's promise not to destroy the world in flood and that of the Irish pot of gold at the rainbow's end. Many see the rainbow as good and some as a bad omen. Amazonians shut their mouths to keep out disease, ancient arabians thought it was a tapestry woven by the south wind. Bulgarian legends feel if you walk below the rainbow you will change gender, at least in your way of thinking. The haiku are not as strong as I would have liked but they should share a little rainbow lore.
Carpe Diem Haiku Shuukan mantra study "Om Mani Padme Hum" and this week we have arrived at the third sound of this mantra "NI" which purifies passion and desire (human realm).
Moonlight bathes the naked lovers in the vestibule
~ on the church stoop child suckles mother’s breast nuns blush
Om purifies bliss and pride (realm of the gods); Ma purifies jealousy and need for entertainment (realm of the jealous gods); Ni purifies passion and desire (human realm); Pad purifies ignorance and prejudice (animal realm); Me purifies greed and possessiveness (realm of the hungry ghosts); Hum purifies aggression and hatred (hell realm).
As I place those meanings together than Kanshicho means:
A poem in the Chinese way that expresses the extravagance and pride of the poet with the frivolity of the flight of a butterfly. And than Kanshicho starts to come to life. It's an expression of something which is seen by the poet, a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown in to water, in which he/she sees the extravagant beauty and pride of nature. That extravagance beauty is caught in a three lined verse with the frivolity, (in my opinion frivolity means "not strings attached, free") of the flight of a butterfly.
high above the trees
crescent moon shines
I got stuck on the word pride and these thoughts came:
Warning - Haibun is sad so if you want skip to the haiku. It is a rewriting of something from years ago.
NO STONE TO SET
Aimlessly wandering the world a blur a mother's grief unrelenting. I find myself in an old cemetery
searching for a grave I couldn't bear to face in 20 years. Yet, I come having no other place. He was in the Catholic section, wherever that was. I run my hands over cold marble, tracing my finger in the carved letters. Finally in a back corner a statue of the virgin mother, the grass overgrown. I search, search for a lamb. I discover a small stone half covered; a tiny etched lamb. Disappointed I pull a handful of grass "See I will not for get you I will hold you in the palm of my hand" plays over and over in my head. I carefully tend the marker. His was not the courage of the battlefield, but enemies fought within. His bravery was of needles and bone marrow transplants. The courage to smile through it all always thinking of others. I could never be as brave as my brother. Why did I end up here? Time passing without reason. I talk about my sons, changing denominations, rambling on...
At the end of my prattle I ask him to watch over my little one lost with no grave, no name. I hear his laughter echoing a sense of peace fills the air. All fades I awaken, the morning light illuminating my room and I am bathed in some sense of contentment and sanity.
I think back to the mountain valley where we meet. Rival supporters for college football. One dance with you sealed my fate. You played your guitar and slid across the floor on your knees. I tried to fix you up with my best friend who went to the same school as you. She wasn’t interested in the least. I was head over heels about you, but had a boyfriend.
We dated for awhile. I was too immature for a serious relationship, yet our friendship lingered. Through all my broken relationships there was always you, your guitar and rock concerts.
mountains and valleys
strangers, music and guitars
and always you
Your proposal was bitter sweet. You came early in the evening and played with the boys. You returned later with your guitar. I was wrapped in blankets to keep warm and you kept singing love songs. Finally feigning a headache, I went to the car in search of Tylenol. I sat there and a mountain of tears flowed. We’d been dating about five years and had talk about marriage. School was beginning and with our teaching schedules, I knew we would not mention it again until summer. I dried my tears and returned inside.You were packing your guitar.How my heart broke.Standing in the door way you said, “How would you like to attend a wedding?” My answer a flippant “Well that depends on who’s wedding.”I honestly did not know this was a proposal.
Since then we’ve climbed many of life's mountains together. And sometimes you still pick up your guitar and sing me love songs.