Weathering the storm.

We find ourselves still in lockdown after almost eleven months of disruption and isolation. I find that there is so much that I thought I needed before the pandemic that I have slowly come to see is not needed at all. We filled our lives with so much that was uneccessary and benal. So much of out time energy and money was spent on what I can only describe as diversions.

Diversions from what is another matter-diversions from what existence is. The mortal condition. We are here for but a moment and it isn’t about how much we possess but about what we experienced and learned in that moment and what we were able to give that is meaningful or can make a diffference.

The distractions had beeen so beguiling, even writing is perhaps a distraction.

Before we were just marching relentlessly forward, whereas now we have had time to pause and reconnect, now we can work out where we have been, where we really are now, and think about where we actually want to be in our future if there is a future and if we as mere mortals can actually steer anything that is our future.

There were points in my life where I thought that I was in control, where I thought I could somehow determine and shape the future for myself and those around me, and now I see that most of it has always been outside of my control. The very nature of our existence can be changed in a nanosecond by that which is way beyond our control. It challenges everything I have stood for, all the lessons I have ever taught and yet at the same time it just adds another dimension to be grappled with.

The truth is, this pandemic has muddied the waters, blurred the edges. Working hard is no surety for a stable future. The fragile reality that we have built our lives on can be overturned so quickly, so easily and with such alarming speed. Most of us have no idea what the next day or month will bring let alone what life will be like 10 years down the track.

I have relearned to taste my food and savour the pleasure that it gives. I have relearned to value all that I have around me, the people, the places, my home and to try to value each moment for what it is secure in the knowledge that this moment might be as good as it gets, and none of it is to be taken for granted.

it is enough

If you have food in the cupboard and a roof over your head, it is enough.

If you have worries that wake you but family that make you, it is enough.

If you have known love, shown love and grown love, it is enough.

If you have dreamed a little, worked a lot and been satisfied with your endeavours it is enough.

If the art of giving is more meaningful than getting, it is enough.

In the dark moments of life if you can still see a tiny flicker of light it is enough.

It is enough. It doesn’t have to be as vast as the oceans or as deep as the sea or as high as the mountain,

and you don’t have to be the richest, fastest, bravest, tallest, it isn’t about how much your worth measures but how you measure your worth.

It is enough. This I have learned.

Whatever I am, whoever I am, wherever I am, if I give with gladness of my heart it is enough.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

cropped-profile

 

When I was about 18 a very close friend of mine observed that I always seemed to be searching for something and that she worried that I might never be happy. I remember because it troubled me too, it was as if there was something missing from my life and I didn’t really know what it was, and I mistakenly labelled it happiness or perhaps even love. I think it took me many years to realise that it wasn’t missing at all that I just hadn’t recognised it even though at times it was staring me in the face.

 

Sounds of silence

Footfalls through the frost

Whispers on the wind,

Stillness in the stars,

Grubby chubby little hands

Seeking out shells on the shoreline.

Moments of magic in motherhood.

Memories fall like raindrops from the skies

Teardrops in my eyes

as I cherish every second of your lives.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Love you always wherever you may be-Mumma.

 

I think I have been silent for quite a while and now it is time to break the silence. I realise that so much of what I am and what I have done with my life and what I have become is linked to becoming a mother.

For me there was never any doubt that it was a fundamental part of what I held as important-not excelling in a sport or becoming a great leader or even the top of my career but giving and nurturing as best I could new members of the human race. I didn’t always do the job well, but I mostly did my best with the time and resources that I had at my disposal at the time.

I was always clear in my own mind that each would become their own person and make their own way in life and that in some respects all that I was doing was giving them some tools for their life basket and a safe place to grow. So it was a sprinkling of knowledge, a touch of high spiritedness, add in resilience backbone and compassion for others. I always wanted them to fly the nest and soar in the winds in their own little worlds build their own castles in the air and thrive and survive and have soul.

They have moved into their own lives now, almost effortlessly without a backwards glance and yet I know that they will always be connected. I don’t think the umbilical cord is ever truly broken and just as I will always carry my own mother in my heart even though she is long since gone I think they too will always carry a part of me in their hearts and so the story goes, the ebb and flow, mother to child.

Pakaru

The car is at the garage

The engine is Kaput

Another worry in the bag

And now it won’t stay shut.

 

We appear to haemorrhage money

There’ll soon be nothing left

It isn’t remotely funny

Friends family fortitude bereft.

 

Pakaru and redundant

For all my story’s worth

Broken beyond replacement

Nothing left but mirth.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

Pakaru- broken for Mental Health Awareness week 2018.

 

 

 

 

Five minutes later…

It was a monstrous mistake

The earth mover mounted the middle barriers and mowed down the Nissan Micra.

Five minutes later and all would have ended well.

Instead her bloodied hands on the steering wheel, airbags inflated windscreen broken

Laughter lost amidst the debris of a terrible double tragedy.

 

Can I buy you a drink you look like you need one?

She laughed nervously as he set the glass in front of her,

His charm left her glassy eyed and lost at sea.

Five minutes later and it would have been someone else at the bar, someone else he would have warmed his hands on

Her soul would have been free.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

How our lives and futures hang in a balance that is so often beyond our control is something that mesmerises me. For good or bad it can be a split second either way that makes the difference and then we must ask ourselves is this all by chance? Who rolled the dice?

This is my offering for d’Verse open link night.

 

 

 

 

 

Days of loss.

Some days there are no happy ever afters

No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Inside the cloud- no silver linings

 

Some days the tears we weep fill the reservoirs of our soul

The magnitude of our pain and suffering is beyond remedy

Inside our heart is bereft and broken beyond repair.

 

Some days suffering sadness and shades of sorrow are all there is

And we must carve a new understanding of the world we know

Find a new way to find a glimmer of hope.

 

© Alison Jean Hankinson

I have decided to link this up to d’verse for open link night. I wrote it at a very key low point last year just as I discovered I had once again become ill with a flare of Ulcerative Colitis, the first since 2012. Last week I think I hit an even lower point in my life, the disease refusing to go into remission and being forced to give in and go back on to high dose steroids. I am climbing back out of the hole. I have managed to keep working, and that in itself is an achievement and we take our crumbs where we can find them.

I wrote this early November when despair was at times overwhelming. I still believe in happy ever after- it is in my nature.

Much love. XXX

 

Wondering about the ripple effect…

Please forgive me for I do not normally enter the murky waters of the global political arena but this week has made me shudder to the core and I wonder if we can ever truly know the impact of these ripples across our world and I think that the words of Marcus Aurelius are important, sometimes these ripples can go beyond these moments of existence in which we find ourselves and impact forever on those future generations that have not yet even been born. I wonder when and how power is somehow more important than commons sense and responsibility.

The word rhetoric is bandied about across the airwaves by high stakes/high impact global media but the word rhetoric means something akin to- the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, and implies use of persuasive speaking and writing techniques. I hardly think that verbal spats via twitter can be classed as rhetoric when the persuasion comes from the immediacy and availability rather than the subtle and persuasive use of the actual spoken word. The words I have heard seem to be verging on aggression and antagonism and have been blunt and course. Perhaps this is a new form of rhetoric.

What happened to accountability and responsibility here?  Are our global futures to be suspended in the wake of the ripples of power hungry egotistical leaders with no care for the long term global impact of the fall-out from this folly?

©Alison Jean Hankinson

The image is my own. It is Te Matau a Pohe bridge in Whangarei. Perhaps we are at a bridge. Fancy a game of Pooh sticks…see who wins?

Hospital Birth

Darkest hours

Patiently pacing

Dim-lit dawn

Life-embracing.

 

Bald cry echoes

Through the walls

First born child’s

Entrance call.

Birth Newborn Sleeping Baby Girl Infant Hospital

 

This is for Jillys challenge

Where we complete the beginning of a poem and see if someone else can complete it. So this is my beginning bit.

The image was for reuse in the public domain from max pixel.

Alison Jean Hankinson

The beauty of imperfection.

In d’Verse we were asked to focus on imperfection for our haibun Monday Wabi-Sabi. My haiku isn’t a proper one as it is human.13411939_10209544645598467_2234712537344072344_o

Today I started my new job and met some new work colleagues. One beautiful lady was in the office with her baby, she was on maternity leave but had come in to share the joy of this young man. He looked beautiful and his arms were so open and he looked so uncurled and yet it took me back to the arrival of my girls. Ellen emerged in a state of perfect relaxation, but Emily’s arrival was more stark and primaeval, the screams were of real anger and short-lived. She was whisked off to the SCBU within the hour when I told the nurses it sounded like she was barking. Unbeknown to us the damage was already done.

Emily was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in the November on my birthday,  was classed as having spasticity in all four quadrants and we were told she might never walk. Ellen and Emily worked together on this and she walked at 16 months old. We just carried on as best we could and she has achieved so much in her 18 years so far, and her imperfections are actually just a part of her surreal beauty and magical character. What she has achieved so far in her young life is way and above what many people without such obvious imperfections achieve. I told some of my story and was horrified at the irony-all is not what it seems and this little fellow had a similar story, but my little girl with her imperfections is nothing short of inspiration for others who are treading these uncertain imperfect waters.

Winter frost beckons
Stiff frozen imperfections
Sibling love melts ice.

©Alison Jean Hankinson