One of the reasons I love the haibun is because of its ability to make a point with its brevity. Let’s face it, most of us are prone to go into details, not just writers. When I started playing around with the idea for this piece, I was thinking of all the times I have heard or seen people play the blame game. For some crazy and most likely selfish reason, we think that laying the blame elsewhere will…what exactly? Saying it’s not my fault enhances the way the world sees us – I don’t think so.
Media, the government, families, places of employment – the list of blame gamers is endless. I could discuss some of the things that Covid brought to the forefront but it’s time to look forward and understand the process. It is only in understanding our behaviour that we can change, and I can’t say I haven’t been guilty. It’s not my fault I’m not further along in life.
As a migrant child some of my experiences were amazing and some were harmful, stunting growth under the guise of the old country. My answer was to leave home. Unfortunately, I was in no way prepared for the consequences of being on my own and it coloured my life and the path I took. I did blame my parents for a long time although perhaps not overtly. But, I soon figured out there was no point. They were wonderful, caring people doing the best they could.
As much I wanted to shift the focus from myself, and blame someone else I knew it wouldn’t change anything. I made the decision to leave; I therefore had to accept the consequences. Moreover, those consequence were because I did not handle my situation very well. It was just too hard to have them understand my point. Poor me.
And it is so easy to run, and too hard to change our approach or even accept our attitude might be the culprit. After all it’s never our fault. This bothered me, created a desire to write about it. Firstly though, I needed distance from the actual situation. The haibun gave me the distance. An innocuous size but with the ability to deliver a huge message is a very satisfying mesh. I call it big ideas in a small story. However, is it perfect? On reflection I can probably cut it down even further in word length, make it more pointed. Input is welcome as this is not an easy medium. Love to know what you think.
From Emotions in Existence and The Emotions Anthology Box Set
It’s you, not me
The suitcases threw me. For business trips he took a small bag with the basics, and his briefcase.
My mind pinched at me, sharply demanding I take note, real note this time of all the little things that had been happening around me for a long time. Naturally, I refused to listen. I was the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect cook, the perfect fiend…I meant friend, of course I did. Where did the fiend, oh forget it, a slip of the tongue even for someone as perfect as me.
I did everything by the book – instilled in me by a harsh parenting I acknowledged – but it had created someone capable of perfecting environments. I saw it reflected in my home, in my high-achieving children and in the company I kept. I did it without fussing, I did it by employing self-control.
The suitcases niggled, inciting my fingers into loud drumming on my glass-topped table. One shiny purple nail had a small chip. I shuddered. I needed to make an appointment. Now. This very minute. I would ring so that my itching eyes could settle, the slamming of the door could be ignored like all the other things I didn’t like.
I would fix it all later…I know I would, could…
a flood of tears
as the front door shuts
A special thanks to http://www.unsplash.com and their wonderful photos.
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