Haibun Monday #7: Gifts

Today, Mary Grace is pub tender at dVerse. She has given us four quotes from which to choose one and write a haibun with one haiku at the end to the quote we choose. The quote I chose is at the beginning of my haibun.  http://dversepoets.com/2016/02/15/haibun-monday-7/  Here is where this is linked.  Come and visit, please!

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
― Mary Oliver

He gave many gifts during our time together: a necklace of perfectly matched pearls, a kimono of silk – pink on pink cherry blossoms, a handful of all orange flavored pixy stix, a custom wakizashi…the last gift he gave me was…goodbye. I grieved, mourned, turned inside myself willing everything and everyone to disappear. I constructed a strong wall around me – my heart. Tears were drowned in a well of sorrow and never again resurfaced except for that one time.

Time passed. I learned again to be self-reliant, to smile again at strangers, to reconnect with friends, to laugh with careless abandon, and to find beauty in all of the seasons. And more time passed. One day, I looked up into your eyes – blue and cloudless as a perfect summer sky. No darkness there, only warmth and light. I looked one last time into that box of darkness and saw therein the lessons I had learned that led me to today. I put the lid on the box and sealed it up, pushed it to the farthest corner of the attic and piled heavy boxes of outdated encyclopedia upon it. You handed me the gift of yourself and because of the past darkness, I could now appreciate the light. I think of the quote, not fully remembered but basically, we only see the stars because of the darkness of night.

sun shines on surface
of the pond – faded sakura
sleep on the bottom

26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 16:33:29

    Oh I love how you told the story, how you used the box of darkness so clearly… so much like it should be… and indeed only against the darkness of the sky can you see the brightness of the stars. So glad for you to find through that darkness a new light.


  2. Grace
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 16:42:30

    I love the gifts, even the gift of good bye ~ I also like how you can now see the light and stars because of the darkness of the night ~ Time to put away that box of darkness into the farthest corner of the attic ~

    A beautiful haiku, with the faded sakura on the bottom of the pond ~


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 15, 2016 @ 16:45:03

      Thank you. Much time has been spent through the years watching the petals fall, seeing koi coming up to nibble because they think it is something to eat, the petals fading and sinking…nice meditative way to spend a quiet spring day.


  3. Bodhirose
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 16:48:41

    What a beautiful love story and tribute, Toni. Sometimes it does take some time to process the events in our lives to realize that they were indeed gifts. Bravo to you too!


  4. Victoria C. Slotto
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 17:03:10

    Oh my goodness…the images of faded cherry blossoms, the box you carefully wrapped and put away in the far reaches of the attic–this is all too wonderful and I am so glad you shared it. Isn’t it interesting how so many of us, so far, turned to the Mary Oliver quote? There is a universal understanding in that, I believe.


  5. Mary
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 20:45:04

    Toni, I so appreciate you telling the story you shared in this haibun. I think I understand a bit better now. It is interesting sometimes how what we first think of as a gift of light turns eventually into a gift of darkness. I guess in time most of us learn to appreciate that gift of darkness, however it was presented and whatever it meant for us, and perhaps in time even can look back at the gift of light we had before the darkness fell. I am glad that you found your TRUE gift of light. Perhaps you had to go through the ‘dark’ to really appreciate what light really was. This was a very, very moving haibun, Toni.


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 15, 2016 @ 21:43:10

      Thank you so very much. When I read this quote, it told me what to write. I also immediately thought of VanHelsing saying in Dracula, we must go through the bitter waters to get to the sweet. I think we all have gone through the bitter waters, lived in the darkness…but it does show us the light and our lives and art become richer for it. Thank you so much for your words. They mean a lot to me. It has taken me a long time to trust my art and sometimes I despair of ever trusting it again.


  6. Em
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 20:49:48

    This section is so powerful: “pink on pink cherry blossoms, a handful of all orange flavored pixy stix, a custom wakizashi…the last gift he gave me was…goodbye”


  7. Pleasant Street
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 20:51:51

    I love the connection of the symbiotic stars and dark night sky


  8. thotpurge
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 23:17:39

    Like the image of the sakura at the bottom of the pond…


  9. whimsygizmo
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 23:48:50

    Your haiku is perfection – the contrast between the light and the fading past. I relate so well to this piece, Toni. You have no idea.


  10. whimsygizmo
    Feb 15, 2016 @ 23:49:27

    Goodbye IS a gift, when it comes from someone like that. I can relate.


  11. MarinaSofia
    Feb 16, 2016 @ 04:56:40

    I’m loving all the different takes on the same quote! I like your use of goodbye and grief as one ‘gift’ amongst many, and you put the lid on it for so many years, not able to see its light. Just such a beautiful and heartfelt description … not sure I’m quite there at your level of wisdom yet. And the contrast between the sun on the surface and the faded sakura blossom at the bottom of the lake!


  12. Misky
    Feb 16, 2016 @ 06:38:17

    Brilliant haiku. Really enjoyed reading this one.


  13. writersdream9
    Feb 16, 2016 @ 07:51:52

    You have made darkness the treasure that it truly can be!


  14. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade)
    Feb 16, 2016 @ 16:41:26

    A gift indeed! And I love the haiku.


  15. georgeplace2013
    Feb 16, 2016 @ 16:56:47

    Drew me in completely. The haiku was loveliness.


  16. trishwrites1
    Feb 16, 2016 @ 22:59:54

    gorgeous — and those first few lines – the way they flowed describing the gifts – beautiful prose.


  17. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala)
    Feb 17, 2016 @ 10:13:44

    we only see the stars because
    of the darkness of night.

    Disappointment can be a wonderful teacher. It is a learning process for the better!



  18. charliezero1.wordpress.com
    Feb 17, 2016 @ 11:56:58

    Excellent love story & tribute my friend.


  19. Linda Kruschke
    Feb 21, 2016 @ 23:13:18

    This is beautiful and holds a wonderful lesson as well. I love that you take a moment to describe the kimono of silk before that final gift. Peace, Linda


  20. Sherry Marr
    Feb 29, 2016 @ 23:19:42

    This poem and story is very moving, Toni…….after heartbreak, it takes courage to love again. I love the wisdom in recognizing the light, and “the gift of yourself”, and the courage it took to accept that wonderful gift. This is beautifully told. I loved it.


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