Mummy died in 2000, Pup in 2003. I had the tasks of property management and medical care management for my father utilizing the services of 8 employees between the time my mother and father died. I returned to Vermont from the Midwest more times during that first year of oversight than I had visited in the last 34 years. I would oversee the administration of two estates while attempting to manage my own business at home. All done while my siblings would attempt to sue me. I was soon to discover two WWII scrapbooks of my mothers. They were astounding. She served in London in the European Branch of the OWI. The Office of War Information was the Propaganda Wing of the US Government. I have no idea what she did. A while back I read something within these books that makes me believe that she was at one time behind enemy lines in Europe. She endured bombings of London. I do know that it radically changed and reshaped her forever. Today I fully understand her ghastly mothering.
dives and skims the cool water
minnow for dinner
“The War was the most exciting time of my life” she said to me in 1998 on the phone. I could only think: “who finds war exciting?” War is grim, grotesque, horrific and evil. I lived through the fears of the Vietnam War Era. I did not relate to Mummy’s nostalgic trip back in time at all. In 2005 I had a spiritual experience that initiated me into my parent’s world. Willingly, I placed myself inside the mind of a Vietnam War Veteran, a stranger. This experience one of shattering pain and one of pure ecstasy lead me to (among other things) study war. The experience in its entirety taught me things that I otherwise would never have known, nor understood about life. It was a truly life altering experience.
stretching across the meadow
like doodle bugs
Doodle Bug was the British name for the Flying V-1 Bomb(s) dropped on Great Britain By Germany during WWII.
I was the apple of my father’s eye when I was born in 1946. Tragically this love ended around 1951. The destructive results of WWII were catching up with both my parents. They each retreated within as two more children were born. The loss of my father’s love would shape my life to come and dominate it for many years in a most un-positive manner. Following my 2005 spiritual experience, I was to experienced my father’s love as it washed over me for the next couple of years replenishing and nourishing all that had been taken away.
shedding its summer body
soon too it shall die
I am discovering that this desire to write my memoir through haibun, haiku, haiga and other forms of Japanese poetry will be very difficult. As all know there are many RULES to follow when writing Japanese forms of poetry. I wish to comply however, I must not only write poetry, I must tell an interesting story … or many interesting stories. And I have so many photos. I have removed from these scrapbooks 1/3 of the contents, leaving 2/3 left to with grave difficulty remove, clippings, postcards, letters, dance cards, dinner dates … all sorts of things. These scrapbooks are now 74 years old. Fragile. Each item must be removed with care and then I must have them scanned … by a commercial organization. All when I am not ill – hopefully. I wish to move forward, it is such a slow pace however. I will get there I keep telling myself. Thank you for reading, for your support and for following me.
Please comment critically. As relates to the paragraph just above, I have now written 5 haibun. A haibun is a paragraph of prose about a place, an object or person. My initial 2 haibun were longer – more about me. I wish to get the story across, each story in one short paragraph. I have shortened these 3 above, made theme more concise. Are they two short? Do they tell enough? Do they actually hold your interest and would they make you wish to read more and finish the book (that will be filled with photos? I don’t know. Please you let me know what you think and feel. You won’t insult me. I wish to create a thing of beauty. Remember this will largely be filled with WWII memorabilia. It will tell one how war effects those born into new generations far away from the war experienced by the generation before. It will be a book that I hope will be placed upon the coffee table.
Shared with Poets United for the Sunday Poetry Pantry.