Unfamiliar, or: Piercing

A haibun

Nearly one year after my father died, I wrote the following:

Disconcertingly out of sync, perceptions jumbled, receptors misfiring, I remain immediately near but never fully within the self I’d always known, receiving on an unfamiliar, piercing wavelength.

Slowly, slowly, I have come to understand
this: My pulse has been attuned to loss.

-Me, The Skeptic’s Kaddish #47, June 23, 2019

Today, these words of mine still resonate with me, but for two of them – ‘unfamiliar’ and ‘piercing’.

Grief is no longer ‘unfamiliar’ to me. It’s part of my daily experience. It goes beyond my father’s death to include the dissolution of my extended family, the seemingly irreconcilable tension of having loved ones that I dislike, dreams I’ve abandoned, and the seeming pointlessness of existence, possibly beyond creating art and being kind to others.

Grief is no longer ‘piercing’ to me. I sponge it up, letting it suffuse my being, thereby dulling it. A primary goal has become to protect my 7-yr-old daughter from unnecessary pain to the extent possible (not forever – but for now) by bearing the brunt of understanding. I paint a picture of life for her that is much more colorful than my true perception of it.

immortal candle
cypress mourns all human dead
transcends traditions

Go Dog Go Cafe’s Haibun Wednesday

  • This week’s prompt is to write a haibun about grief.
  • 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!

40 thoughts on “Unfamiliar, or: Piercing”

  1. Oh, David…this line… I sponge it up, letting it suffuse my being, thereby dulling it. These give me hope. Beautiful read. And your writing initiative sounds fun – I’m gonna check it out!

    1. Thanks, Donna ❣️

      I would be incredibly honored if you share a poem of yours with me. It can be any one that you have ever written ☺️

      Sincerely,
      David

  2. “…to include the dissolution of my extended family, the seemingly irreconcilable tension of having loved ones that I dislike, dreams I’ve abandoned, and the seeming pointlessness of existence…” This resonated. All the other domino-effects of the loss of a person. ❤️

  3. So moving, and so much of this is relatable. Your skill in expressing these complicated emotions is astonishing. Well done as always. 🙂

  4. Sharing your reflections, you have expressed so eloquently feelings that will resonate with many. Such a heartfelt haibun. ❤

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