In literary convention, Sunday morning is a lazy day involving late breakfasts and a leisurely reading of a weighty Sunday paper. I can remember Sundays like that, walking to the paper shop with my father to collect papers because there was no newspaper delivery on Sunday.
As I became a father myself, and the kids started playing rugby, Sunday mornings became more hectic times, featuring lost boots and arguments. I remember one morning in a car park 30 miles from home when a familiar face pulled up with his son.
I said: “You’re in the wrong place Dave, the Under 12s are playing at home.”
“What are you doing here then?” he asked, with the triumphal air of of a man proving an important philosophical point in an argument.
“I’m with the Under 15s today. Julia’s with the Under 12s.”
Modern Sundays seem so hectic.
Ten years after our walks to buy papers my father and I had developed a prickly relationship. Adolescents, as I would find in my turn, are awful examples of humanity and are barely human. Ten years after that, we still weren’t much friendlier. Ten years after that we had developed a better understanding, as I now had kids of my own. Ten years after that I no longer read newspapers. And ten years after that, having lost many games of dominoes and done a lot of jigsaws, I am left to regret the wasted time spent arguing, and the lessons I could have learned from my father. He may have lost a lot of things through Alzheimer’s, but he retained his competitive edge and his facility with numbers until the end.
To be fair, I wasn’t the only argumentative one (the apple not falling far from the tree) and some of his advice, whilst brilliant for the 1950s, was not so good when applied to the 1990s.
Here’s a haibun I wrote on the subject some time ago – first published in Haibun Today Volume 13, Number 1, March 2019.
My father remembers who I am (though he can’t quite remember my name) and he’s keen to show me his jigsaw.
It’s one of the puzzles my sister ordered from a specialist supplier. They have larger pieces than normal and depict idealised, almost timeless, scenes from the 1950’s. Before she found these, he used to have jigsaws for children, bought from the Early Learning Centre.
When he clears it away, he puts the edges in a separate bag, so they will be easier to find next time. That could be as early as tomorrow, when it will be brand new as it comes out of the box.
playing a child’s game
in the fading light
Tender and poignant. Made me more than a little sad as I thought of the passing of time and the loss of loved ones.
Now I’m not sure to say – thank you for your comments or apologise for making you sad. I’ll add a smile to lighten the mood. 🙂
A beautiful haibun, Quercus! I wouldn’t mind a slow day here sometime, when nothing breaks, nothing needs attending….
I suppose challenges are what make life interesting.
I enjoyed the haibun too. Every day is Sunday for me now.
Thank you.Yes, I suppose a lifetime of Sundays beckons me too. 🙂
IT is not so bad.
🙂 I must get a bike and some scenery…
Simon, I love that haibun. I remember it from before and it is just as tender and sweet and meaningful the second time around.
Oops, did I post it before or provide a link? My memory is getting terrible.
It was our Saturdays…when all 3 were in soccer (football)…only HE took time over the paper on Sundays…good memories though, thanks for remembering with me.
🙂 I love my kids, but I like my time off too, and 2 were definitely enough.
love! Direct, simple poetry!
Thank you. I am quite simple…
simple is Good!!!
That is what I keep telling Julia! 🙂
That haibun (No, WP, NOT halibut) is quite tenderly brilliant
Thank you Derrick – I too struggle with the encroachment of halibut into my poetry, which might actually give me a title…