publish provocative thoughts
look! darn! glaring mistake!
senryu by M. Nakazato LaFreniere
The Daily Post
Fox Matsuri Festival Preparation, Himeshima, Japan, Photograph by M. LaFreniere
round and round we go
reality merges with dreams
by M. Nakazato LaFreniere
The Daily Post
Picture: A gorgeous antique carousel graces the grounds of Tilden Park with hand-carved fantastic creatures. Built in 1911, bought in 1978, the merry-go-round is one of 200 hand-carved wooden carousels in the United States. I took the picture in 1996 when I lived on Telegraph Street, Berkeley, California.
|Circles of Delight: Classic Carousels of SF||Art of the Carousel||Carving Miniature Carousel Animals||Carousel CD: Shirley Jones|
Disclaimer: I have signed up as an Amazon affiliate so I may get a small payment if anyone buys anything by clicking the Walden link. The sheet said 4.5% if it’s a book. They haven’t accepted me yet–you get accepted after the first purchase. I think this next quote is required but I’ve noticed on some sites they have written their own personal text so I’m not sure. “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”
ambling across the yard
Darn! the weeds won’t wilt
photo by M. LaFreniere
Catching up to the Daily Post. Just finished my last word of the day and it’s already yesterday’s word! So here is another one.
The Daily Post
Japan Photograph: Ambling reminded me of the monkeys in Beppu. I took this photograph at what I think of as monkey mountain near Beppu, aka Mount Takasaki.
The wild macaques live in two tribes and hang around for the daily feedings. There is no enclosure so they are free to leave which the occasional monkey does. Usually they come back because the living is easy.
The monkeys are wild, not tame so you cannot pet them. They are also very quick. One kid was walking along, his coke can held casually to his side. A macaque ran by him, grabbed the can. Soon other monkeys were chasing the first one trying to grab the cola from him. Looked a bit like a stretched out linedance.
From Amazon Books: some travel guides that might be helpful. I thought it was interesting that you can buy Lonely Planet chapters (Kyushu&Okinawa) on kindle instead of the whole book. The other one is from Tuttle Publishing which I thought looked intriguing. When I was living in Japan, I often bought books by Tuttle — a publisher in Japan, they produced books written by folks living in Japan, including Europeans and Americans.
Lonely Planet Japan
Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen
Kyushu & Okinawa chapter, Lonely Planet
Disclaimer: I have signed up as an Amazon affiliate so I may get a small payment if anyone buys anything by clicking the Walden link. The sheet said 4.5% if it’s a book. They haven’t accepted me yet. I’ll let you know if I get accepted. It would be nice if it paid for the website at least. I think this next quote is required but I’ve noticed on some sites they have written their own personal text so I’m not sure. “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”
luscious memories shimmer
even as they fade
haiku by M. Nakazato LaFreniere
Georgia told me about the Daily Post putting out a daily prompt each day. A single word to kickoff people’s creativity. I thought I’d give it a shot but as a daily haiku or senryu. Or I might do a tanka which is 5-7-5-7-7 so five lines.
I loved Salad Anniversary by Machi Tawara (got it when I taught English in Japan in my 20s). At age 25, she revitalized the tanka when her poetry captured modern love and life in sharp bites as her emotions pingpong from joy to sorrow.
|9/18/17 The below was my original “Introduction” page from my first blog Restructuring Life which I started July 10, 2017. I started doing haiku/senryu daily August 7, 2017. Surprised, I found I quite like writing them and they took on their own life so I spun them off in their own blog Cactus Haiku here on September 13, 2017.
I hope you like the haiku and senryu!
A few months ago, my mom passed and I find myself adrift. Lost in the desert, I need to redefine my life. Unmoored at 57, where do I go from here?
Eight years ago after my dad’s funeral, I moved back to Tucson to take care of mom as she went through cancer (surgery, radiation treatment, pill-based maintenance chemotherapy and their side effects), dialysis and the gradual dwindling that is aging. All that time I stayed positive: believing fervently that she would live. Driving her to bingo and thrift stores, using interlibrary loans to order Japanese books and doing what I could do to make life pleasant so that cancer and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) did not define her life.
It is so weird. I never stopped being myself in caring for my mom. However, with her passing, I feel like I lost a piece of myself. You fight off death for years, staring him down and then when Death wins, as he must, it’s like, “Huh?”
Mom was ready. I know that. She said dad was visiting her in her dreams. Her last night I could hear her singing on the baby audio monitor. An Okinawan folk song that I didn’t understand. Eight hours later she was gone. And I lost the fight — even though rationally I know it was better for her. Her mind was starting to slip and she would have hated that. But knowing and feeling are two different animals.
So here I am. California had been my home for decades and honestly I never thought I’d move back to Tucson. I remember I couldn’t wait to get away and go off to college to find meaning and adventure somewhere else. This is home now, again, but I don’t know what that means. When both your parents die, they take home with them in some deep essential way.
What do I want to be important to me now? Where do I want to go from here? Like on New Year’s, I am making a list of what needs to be restructured.
This one I will leave open. While I know what had meaning in various points in my past, only by being open and exploring will I find what will have meaning for the second half of my life. Family, friends, relationships and work defined me a lot in the past. Actually they still want to define me but taking care of my mom, I’ve let go of the need to take care of them by buying into their expectations. It’s time to go to Walden’s pond.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep … and, if (life) proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. ”
— Henry David Thoreau in “Walden”, 1854
So I am assuming if you’ve read this far, you are re-evaluating your life. So what do you want to focus on? Where do you want to go?
I thought about adding books on grief/grieving but decided not to. Grief is both personal and individual so people go through it differently. I withdrew from everyone. I just really wanted to be alone for a few months. My sister cried on everyone. I felt like we were from different planets. So what works to help one person may not help another. I’ve decided not to make a list right now although I may later. Time sometimes helps to define later what helps the most. I am listing “Walden” as I like the quote which was helpful to me.
Disclaimer: I have signed up as an Amazon affiliate so I may get a small payment if anyone buys anything by clicking the Walden link. The sheet said 4.5% if it’s a book. They haven’t accepted me yet. I think this next quote is required but I’ve noticed on some sites they have written their own personal text so I’m not sure. “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”