A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2007, vol 3 no 1

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Sharon Trevelyan Dean

An Evening Meditation

The drive home from my cousin’s place is awkward. Last week I was annoyed because he’d made a racist remark about a Koori football player. This week it’s the fact he lies to the women he meets online and laughs about it over dinner. And he’s always drunk–there’s that, too.

In the back seat my sons are chatting about Viking Lego but all’s quiet up front. Until my husband breaks the silence with: “You’re always judging him. You complain about what sort of a person he is, but you’re happy for him to babysit your kids when it suits.”

We’ve had this conversation before, and there’s no use giving him my usual rejoinder. I stare out the car window. An eerie light falls over the Earth.

Suddenly, I recall a loving-kindness meditation. May I be filled with love and compassion, I say to myself. May I be free of ill will. But I’m about as free of ill will as the ocean is free of salt.

At home everyone else goes straight to bed. I stay up listening to music. But none of it blows me out of my mind or frees me from my resentment. Not even with the singer's voice cutting through an explosion of guitar like a shaft of light breaking through a cloud.

moonlit paddock
cows and trees
the same blue


Note: The haiku ‘moonlit paddock’ was published in FreeXpresSion, February, 2007.