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Contemporary Haibun Online: January 2015, vol 10 no 4

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Ray Rasmussen

Lifting the Covers

Her back is turned to me, and then she rolls over and I sense her gazing in my direction.

"What?" I say.

"I do like your writing," she says, the covers pulled up tight to her chin.

"Why do I sense a 'But' coming?"

"Well, what you write is touching, but you focus so much on loss; there's such a sadness."

"I'm often reaching for humour," I protest. "What about that piece about me thinking about becoming a monk?"

"Becoming a monk isn't exactly my idea of uplifting. Where does that leave me?"

"It's just this time of life," I say. "Friends are suffering physical ailments, some are dying, others moving away, couples are breaking up, the age of people in the obits is usually less than mine, the world seems to be endlessly at war."

"So do you write about pain as a way of working through it?"

"Just the opposite. Writing about it helps me to connect more deeply with things that matter."

"Some people write about flowers in meadows", she says. "Wouldn't that help you to connect with some of the positive things in life?"

"I do connect with those sorts of things. But there's so much fluff written about flowers and walks in the woods. The reality is that there are biting insects, bears and wolves, it can rain all day, you can sprain an ankle."

"I meant why don't you write about love, about us?" she asks. "We're something positive, aren't we? This isn't just fluff, is it?"

"You've read my mind," I reply. "Right now, I'm thinking of lifting these covers of darkness and having a go. Later on, maybe I'll write about it."

"Hmmmm," she says, turning her back to me. "Not sure I want to be a 'go'."

morning mist –
the silence
in my bedroom