Loving Surrender – A Haiku

Loving surrender

Means breaking the seed to grow

Life in all its forms.

The lovely picture above is from Hélène’s Picture Prompt, What Do You See? I love the saturated colors of this image which brings up thoughts of spring and the blossoming of Mother Earth.

As a mother, I am often reminded of how much motherhood demands of us in order to bring life and raise life in this world. I have often struggled with giving in to these demands – the fear of losing oneself is a real one. The term “loving surrender” is one I coined to help me “give in” to the demands of motherhood and family. It is a wonder how many things one can accomplish and endure if done with love!

©️ iido 2018

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Remembrance – A Double Nonet

They don’t talk about their journey here

But I ask and Aunty beckons

I listen to memories

Hushly shared by Aunty

Of escape by sea

Bad things happen

Shhh, don’t cry

OK?

Now

Safe

We’re here

Successful

It was just war

Many forgotten

Refugees, casualties

Just be quiet, be grateful

Gone are fear and uncertainty

Aunty says just remember for me

This is my husband’s Aunt Le who shared with me her experience about how their family escaped from Vietnam – “boat people” they were called. I love listening to her stories and learning from her. Her strength and resilience is inspiring. Her memories and sacrifices will be remembered – I will make sure of that.

This poem was written for Pic and a Word Challenge #161 – Remembrance. I don’t know if Patrick picked this word because it coincided with the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I but it bring to mind war and the repercussions of war. We often remember soldiers but forget about the other people affected by war, the people not involved in fighting yet still affected by it – refugees, peace keeping forces, doctors who help the injured, children. The effects of war are generational – for people, society and the environment.

People thought WWI would be “The War to End All Wars”. Unfortunately, this was not true. Our world continues to be plagued by wars and conflict that has cost millions of lives and displaced millions of people, wars that result in generations of trauma. When will we be able to stop killing each other so the pain and sadness of war will truly only be a memory?

©️ iido 2018

The Hershey Half Marathon – A Haibun and Race Review

Race day was wear-pajamas-and-a-blanket-while-sipping-hot-cocoa-by-the-fire chilly. The first few miles felt like getting slapped by icy fingers. The middle miles were warmed by enthusiastic cheers and hills that heated legs. At the end of 13.1, the glow of accomplishment kept us warm while our friendship felt as heavy and solid as our medals.

Wind whispers “Give up”

The hill is steep, legs are tired

Friend shouts “Keep going”

The race begins! See how nice my hair looks…

A quick photo stop with my MRTT running buds, Heather and Michele.

At the end with my KitKat medal in front of Chocolate a World. Notice the hair – courtesy of wind and sweat!

The Hershey Half Marathon was held on a windy day in October this year. It was cold but warmed up a bit as the sun came up. I ran intervals with two wonderful women from my Moms Run this Town chapter, Michele and Heather. Our goal was 2:45 which we missed by 3 minutes. But that was ok. It was a PR for Michele and my best time coming back from health issues. Heather is a speedster but wanted to take it easy this race since she had other races coming up and didn’t get much running before this one.

This was one of those races where we all agreed it was about the journey and not the destination (time 😁). We were pretty consistent on the intervals – except for the part when, after cresting a very steep hill that had a DJ blasting “Cotton Eyed Joe” at the top, I decided to celebrate by breaking out my dance moves. That was a mistake although quite fun! I broke my stride, started to cramp in my calf and needed some extra walk breaks after that. Note to self – doing the “running man” does not count as a running interval!

Despite that running gaffe, the race itself was great! Michele and I had trained together for this one and we had all run it before so the hilly route was familiar. The wind was definitely a factor – I had to chase down my visor at one point after it blew away. They give out little Hershey chocolate bars in the last 2-3 miles of the race which is nice little treat. The one part of the course I don’t like is running through the empty parking lot as you head towards the stadium. The crowd support, especially around the Milton Hershey School, is excellent which is such a contrast to this desolate area that comes right at the end of race. Also disappointing this year was there was no cookie at the end!! Not that I needed a cookie but yes, I did need a cookie!!

I still don’t have any races scheduled for 2019…any suggestions, especially for races with great swag, are welcome! Lastly – a big shout out to MRTT and especially Heather and extra loud for Michele!! You ladies are in inspiration for my perspiration! ❤️

One Slice of Bread – A Poem

Uncle, why only one slice of white bread?

Something is happening, what is it I dread?

Oh dear, don’t worry, it will all be just fine.

Just do as you’re told and toe the line.

But Uncle I see others have food on their plate.

And yours, above all, looks deliciously great.

Look, I need more sustenance than you.

Do you realize all the work that I do?

Now go to bed and do as you’re told.

Nothing will come from you being bold.

Uncle, what do those letters say?

I need to read if I am to stay.

Who says you’re staying, impertinent imp!

School is expensive, we just have to scrimp.

But Uncle I am working hard, too.

I pay for my clothes and give my extra to you.

Of course you do, that’s the only way.

How else can we live if you don’t slave away?

Now go to bed. That is not a choice.

I’m starting to get really annoyed at your voice.

Uncle, it just doesn’t seem fair.

I put in my time. You know that I care.

But it seems that I am the only one

These austerity measures will make me undone

Well, if that happens, it’s your own fault!

You’re not strong enough, clearly not worth your salt.

It’s because of you that we need these measures today

Always wanting to help others who have lost their way.

But Uncle, that was the right thing to do!

Shouldn’t we share with those who have few?

We have so much, but you’re saying we don’t.

Yet you still seem to be able to buy all you want.

Those are things that are my due.

I deserve more things than you.

Look at me! Why can’t you agree?

All you want are things for free.

And that’s why these cuts are your burden to bear.

Being in the middle, you should be aware.

Now go to bed, let these issues unfold.

Just be glad only a few things need sold.

Oh Uncle, why did you sell your soul?

For personal wealth, was that your goal?

I came to you with stars in my eyes.

I thought you were strong and honest and wise.

Together, we could have done so well!

But now I fear we will both go to hell.

Uncle Sam you ask so much of me.

I have so much less, yet you ask for more austerity.

What about healthcare, a decent wage and fair representation?

Or respect for my genders or religious affiliation?

On my back, you’ve created this fantasy,

And now you still just want to grab my pussy?

I’ve had enough. I won’t go to bed.

I deserve much more than one slice of bread.

This was a difficult poem to write for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday prompt of “austerity measures”. She writes “The phrase “austerity measure” isn’t used as much now as it was when I wrote this poem, but that injustice by other name or unnamed is still an injustice and it’s one that is happening all over the world.

I had never heard that term before reading Jamie’s poem. I had always associated austerity with something that saints did, something positive, like sacrificing or doing without for the greater good. The term “austerity measures” is actually a financial term to denote an action by government to decrease its debt by increasing taxes while cutting spending on wages and programs (usually for the poor). So it’s something government imposes on its populace with those who are most in need, shouldering the burden of these measures. I will add that the financial definition does note that the tax cuts should be for the wealthy, however, I have a “feeling” that those cuts would depend on who is in government.

Families also implement austerity measures. I know my family did – growing up and being immigrants here, however, I know my parents took the brunt of those measures and did without, so that us children would not need to know that we were financially struggling. Of course, as kids, we still knew that other people had more than we did, but it wasn’t a hardship, just what our family did to live within our means.

Money has so many different meanings for different people. Our attitudes towards money, saving/spending are shaped by our upbringing and experiences. I wonder if austerity measures would be less of an injustice if it wasn’t imposed, if we all agreed to tighten our belts a little for the good of all. Whether a family, a company or a country – could there be compassion in financial matters?

©️ iido 2018

Contemplating Motherhood – An Etheree

You

Pregnant

Surrounded

By wipes, diapers

And cute, little clothes

I wonder if you thought

About this very moment

Contemplated this, what it means

To be full of life that will think you’re God

Dependent, trusting, loving and all yours.

This etheree honors my very pregnant niece and also responds to Patrick Jennings Pic and a Word #160 – Contemplation. Motherhood was something that I never thought of growing up. I wasn’t the type to play with baby dolls and I probably wasn’t the most nurturing big sister. When other girls would comb each other’s hair and play pretend family, I was off having adventures in my head – reading or writing about living in foreign countries doing extraordinary things.

My life is far from extraordinary yet I wouldn’t say it is less full – just full of laundry and laughter, cooking and cuddles. Having children changes you and I’m glad I didn’t think too hard about that before having them. If I did, I wonder if I would have had them at all.

©️ iido 2018

Winking – A Quadrille Acrostic Poem

While I laughed my best fake laugh

Instead of joining in the conversation

Nestling your hand in mine

Knowing I was only there because of you

I saw your eyes widen then flicker

Noticing the beauty across the table

Giving your best singular smile

This there such a thing a Quadrille Acrostic Poem? Well, there is now! De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo) at dVerse Poets requested a Quadrille (a poem with exactly 44 words) using the word “wink”. I used “winking” as the acrostic word – hope that counts!

This poem continues the theme of relationships that seems to be prominent on my blog this week. I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me?

Marriage Bound – A Cascade Poem

We signed this paper

We are legally bound

The hard work begins

We climbed the steps and waited in line

On our lunch hour

We signed this paper

That night we fought

You slept on the couch

We are legally bound

Morning came

You made me coffee

The hard work begins

Another cascade poem about a relationship, this one responding to Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday prompt to write about weddings or marriage. She states, “As with all human institutions and traditions, weddings and marriages can be very mixed things.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this. Weddings are often fraught with family drama – it’s like all major holiday dinners with two entire families who are staying in one small house all rolled into one day.

After the wedding, marriage itself is a mixed bag of highs and lows. Some couples do call it quits when the lows seem too much but for other couples, those marriage vows, that piece of paper, is permanently binding. Barring any type of abuse, these couples put in the hard work to maintain their commitment.

Relationships are mentally, emotionally and physically demanding. Sometimes love is enough to get us through. Sometimes we need a little more – from our partner, family, friends, from ourselves. But in the end, we all still hope to say, “It was worth it.”

©️ iido 2018