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

 

Any Old Iron

Roaring “Rag and Bone”

Bellowing  “Rag and Bone”

Poorhouse strays, poverty weighs

Pawnshop dray, debtors pay

Loanshark says,

change your ways

Or else….we’ll end your days.

 

©Alison Jean Hankinson

 

The challenge that Frank set at d’Verse was to create a poem in trimeter. I had to think and try really hard and I am not sure if it is or isn’t so hopefully it is. Frank said “For this challenge, write a poem that uses trimeter lines. All of the lines in the poem do not have to be in trimeter, but enough should be so that one can tell this meter was used on purpose. The poems do not have to rhyme nor must they have any other sound qualities about them.

The rag and bone man used to come along our road in the 1970’s shouting “Any old iron” in fact we used them a bit like a swap shop, we put things on the cart and sometimes we took something in return. I was a child.

The image was labelled for reuse from Flickr and was actually from Newcastle libraries. this went with the photo:

Tor623, Rag and Bone Man, Newcastle upon Tyne
Description: Laszlo Torday arrived in Tynemouth in January 1940 from Hungary and took most of his photographs of Tyneside during the 1960’s and 1970’s. They reflect his interest in the streets and people of Newcastle especially of central Newcastle and the suburbs of Heaton and Jesmond. : The physical collection held by Newcastle Libraries comprises 100 photograph albums of black and white prints plus 16 boxes of colour transparencies. We are keen to find out more about them.

Smile

The power of a smile is totally underestimated by most people. It is a simple gesture that means so much and it is used both consciously and subconsciously on a daily basis by most of us. There have been times in my life where it was a smile that made the difference.

A smile says “I accept you.”

A smile says “I get it, I understand”

A smile says “I love you.”

A smile says “It’s okay.”

A smile says “Hallo- I missed you.”

A smile says “Thanks for your support.”

A smile says “I will walk alongside you through your pain.”

A smile says “I am proud of you.”

A smile says “I value you.”

 

When you light up my life with a smile,

you make the moment and my existence more worthwhile.

©Alison Jean Hankinson.

 

 

Give Thanks

We are often blinded to what is of real value in our lives. We are often blind-sided by material wealth and economic worth and seek to measure our worth according to our apparent successes and failures at acquiring wealth and establishing some form of economic status based on it. These high expectations can indeed plummet us into great chasms of despair when our net worth based on these rigid criteria is seemingly low or even non-existent.

At 50 I find that I appear to be worth less in wages and respect than I was when I was 25. This has been a hard lesson to learn. However I can live off less, and I realise that so much of how I have measured myself is based on unrealistic monetised criteria.

I hope we somehow teach our children to recognise and measure their value and worth in other ways.

I hope they learn to measure their wealth in the size of their hearts and the depth of their compassion.

I hope they learn to measure their worth in their ability to give thanks, in their tolerance and their preparedness to give support and guidance to others in need.

I hope that they learn that time is of value and is often underestimated.

When you put aside the desire to be the most successful, or to have the most money it gives you the opportunity to look more closely at what you achieved in life and what is of value in and around you.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be a mum, and for me this was not a done deal.

I am thankful that I have been able to work most of my life in a job that has been profoundly interesting, engaging and in a field that I have been extremely passionate about.

I have been fortunate and am thankful that my work has been fulfilling and challenging and that I have often felt that I am making a worthwhile and valid contribution to society.

I am thankful for my family, all of them, warts and all, a husband who has at times driven me to distraction but always been there to hold my hand and walk beside me when the road has been tough. I am thankful for my children who have made me what I am, everything I have done has been to be able to give them something of value and worth. I am thankful for my sister and my parents for all that they gave to me and all that I learned from them.

I am thankful that when I have made mistakes I have had opportunities to recover and learn and try again.

I am thankful for the friendship and love I have received over the years from people whom I have loved and cherished and also sometimes from complete strangers.

I am thankful for the world around me, the beautiful buildings with their amazing stories, the sea and the landscape, the weather and all that is nature, from the humble daisy to a seascape at sunset.

When we take time to think about what makes us glad, we are able to remember that value and worth are not necessarily linked to money.

Namaste.

©Alison Jean Hankinson

Awe and wonder. Heysham nights.

In a moment of awe and wonder

All fears and worries are cast asunder

Bountiful life affirmed in Summer sunset

Magical moment in mindful mindset.

 

Clarity, depth colour hue

And in return gratitude.

 

In a moment of awe and wonder

We see the world in all its splendour

All our sorrows and anxiety we forget

Beauty in life affirmed by summer sunset.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

 

This is my first contribution to Toads....hope it is okay.

 

 

 

 

Fake it ’til you make it.

Affirmations

 

  1. They help us to remind ourselves of the positives. After all that is what they are all about, they are intended to help us affirm our strengths.
  2. They help to restore the balance within our brains that can occur when our self-esteem has taken a bit of a battering. (self–esteem can be very fluid.)
  3. They feed and nourish our long-term self-efficacy.
  4. Fake it until we make it, a lot of research out there suggests that we can shape what we will become by the thoughts we perceive as important, and therefore having good thoughts about ourselves should ultimately lead us to have better outcomes in life.
  5. It can give us a better sense of gratitude and self-worth.

My acrostic was my attempt at writing myself an affirming acrostic, it isn’t about its depth and breadth as a piece of poetry but about the mental processes and the affirmations that occurred whilst penning it.

Amazing

Fun loving

Friendly

Industrious

Resilient

Maternal

Accepting

Tenacious

Intelligent

Open to new ideas

Nurturing.

 

 

Alison Jean Hankinson.