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The self-assigned writing project for the 21st anniversary of my mom's death includes the following criteria:
1. I must write a haiku for my mother.
2. I will write about what my mom would have been like in Aikido class.
3. Use the new skill of the "em-dash."
4. Combine all this in a little blog entry.
Definition of Haiku: A Japanese poem of 17 syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally invoking the images of the natural world.
1st attempt at a haiku for my mother -- about my mother training in Aikido.
The gi is tight and white,
I must look big.
I won't go.
The first attempt has little hope. I will try again.
2nd attempt: Smoldering rage
Pressed down between thin lips.
Reversed with tenkan. No Hope.
There. That was cheery. I have abandoned the 17 syllables in perfect form for now because the process is hard enough because of the subject matter.
I can't seem to wrap my mind around my mother in an aikido class.
When I picture her -- and this makes me well with tears—she is sitting in her green recliner, wearing her wood brown Timberline lace up shoes, white anklets showing under a too short, faded, blue jay colored cotton pantsuit, her curly white hair slicked back with a plastic head band, her reading glasses frame clear blue eyes, her chubby sun-spotted hands folded on her lap as she sits under a cloud of despondency.
Definition of despondency: a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage.
That word just popped into my mind. I looked it up and realized it was the perfect word.
Writing this evokes a sad sentiment. I was hoping for some hope.
3rd attempt: New student, lady in her 20's with four kids,
Here for her first time.
Don't touch her.
That is telling. 4 kids in ten years. Who has time for class? Another sad thought. Are they all sad?
4th attempt: She sat on the floor
And rolled back when told,
She pops up… ready to go again.
Good job. I see some hope there. It is complete fiction. Maybe. I know she had some hope before my father drank it out of her.
5th attempt: 6th Kyu test
Kote Geishi, Kokyu nage, big rolls,
Finished, Orange belt.
I found some hope when I let go of my skewed vision of my mother and let her just be like every other student -- a clean slate.