One, or: Out of many

A haibun

While I was growing up in the USA, my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents on my mother’s side of the family were all living in Israel. Still, as an only child whose father’s family remained trapped in the USSR until it began falling apart in the late 1980’s, my Israeli family was all I had; and feeling myself a beloved member of that family was a major part of my identity.

For various reasons, including the deaths of my grandparents, the ties that once held our family together frayed, almost to the point of breaking in some cases (and, sadly, beyond that point in some others).

Throughout the years, and pretty much throughout the duration of my life, which has spanned more than four decades, it has been my aunt Dina, my mother’s younger sister, who has served as the glue that’s kept our family together. In some part, this was because she and her family lived with my grandparents; but, now, as an adult, I’ve come to understand that it was also because our family has always been one of her very top priorities; and she has always gone above and beyond to preserve it.

While our family continues, seemingly inevitably, to drift apart; and my childhood concept of it has long since dissipated into smoke, my aunt Dina has come to represent familial love in my mind. We don’t see her often enough, but, these days, when I think of “family”, she is the first who comes to my heart.

lone, nearly bare branch
reluctantly releases leaves
to preserve its life

Go Dog Go Cafeโ€™s Haibun Wednesday

  • This weekโ€™s prompt is to write a haibun about a relationship of yours.
  • From Poetry.org:
    • In How to Haiku, Bruce Ross writes, “If a haiku is an insight into a moment of experience, a haibun is the story or narrative of how one came to have that experience.”

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

43 thoughts on “One, or: Out of many”

  1. There always seems to be a “center” to any family… seldom can they be replaced in any true fashion. I’ve experienced the loss of that gravitational force within a family unit twice in my life. Without their driving force bringing all of the individual branches together… things have never been quite the same.
    It’s something that simply can’t be “taught”. So without them… we remain adrift.

  2. What a beautiful story. My family has splintered and grown apart with the years too. There have been a couple of relatives over the years that kept the family together. Now they’re gone, we all go our separate ways. Your haibun expresses that process poignantly.

  3. Yes, in my family too
    The nieces and nephews have found that aunt who is one in a million.
    As the tree begin to shed its leaves and gushed away
    The forever constant, there us that one aunt that everyone can turn too.

  4. This is heartwarming, David. I am always pleased to hear about families that manage to keep close, through years and distances, and somehow it is always due to one person’s efforts.
    Much love,
    D

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