Beyond Measure – Līgo Haībun Challenge

The Līgo Haibun Challenge is hosted by  Ye Pirate and Ese – Penny and Nightlake are taking some time to work on other projects – it’s great to be busy!

This week’s is word prompt week, either:

Treasure or Despair

Ye Pirate has requested that we use the word itself in our haibun, as well as including a concrete location! Such a challenge must be met! 🙂

I am choosing Treasure – but what kind, I hear you ask…? Read on to find out!

Please do go and check out the other entries by visiting the co-hosts’ blogs and finding the InLinkz linky thing! There are some very talented writers out there… I will visit each and every one as soon as I can!


– Beyond Measure –

Sometimes, we don’t truly comprehend how unanswered questions torment us, until the mystery is solved. I speak from experience. I speak from hauling myself up, what seemed to be at times, an almost perpendicular learning curve this year. I speak from the standpoint of recognising what it means when we talk about not knowing what lies around the corner for us.

If a soothsayer had warned me on New Year’s Day that I would have lost my lovely dad to a sudden and unexpected illness, that I would have had to watch him die over 12 excruciating days, that I would have been there to witness his passing, that I would read a eulogy at his funeral…. well, I would have asked if his crystal ball, runes, tea leaves and the like had suffered a malfunction. It is good that we don’t know what is coming.

This is not a plea for sympathy. We all experience this kind of loss, these sorts of awful situations – the only certainty in life, is death.

But there are upsides that have come my way, over time. For all of my life, I have wondered how, and when, my parents met. I never felt I could ask, since they divorced when I was so very young. I didn’t want to poke sticks in a hornets’ nest (see, I was imagining the worst). But I plucked up the courage to ask the other day. The worst, after all, had already happened.

My treasure is two-fold. I learned that they met at a dance, at the Walker Hall in Edgbaston, Birmingham. It still exists. It’s a beautiful place. It suits what I continued to learn about what brought them together. It makes me smile. I also, completely by accident, found a book of poetry that my dad had kept for almost 44 years – a gift from my mum to him, on his 17th birthday. I am struggling to describe how much this means to me. To know beyond doubt that for a brief and sparkling time, they were in love.

I have felt that my history has been so full of mist and fog – and I had grown used to the not knowing. Now it feels as if a weight has been lifted.


secrets are revealed

in words spoken, scribed and read

no more shadows here



27 thoughts on “Beyond Measure – Līgo Haībun Challenge

    1. Thank you, Clare. To be frank, there’s no great art or creativity to what I have written. It’s just a way to unburden and make sense of what is going on for me (and my family) right now. But then, at the heart of it all, I suppose that is what any sort of creativity is all about in any case!

  1. Thank goodness for Freya… i had forgotten to include a concrete location in my piece…now after a quick edit all is well. I enjoyed your piece too. It is heartfelt and very real.

  2. I have been and still partly am in that unknowing place. There are questions that will never be answered. But I have come to accept the many loves that have lingered in the lives of those I treasure. To allow us into these moments, gives us, the reader as well as your memories honor.


    1. I am sure there is far more to the lives if those whom we love, have loved and will love, than we will ever know. We all keep parts of ourselves, for ourselves.
      I am so pleased that you enjoyed what I wrote. It is meant as an homage to a love that my parents shared.

  3. What a lovely tribute to both of your parents. And, how wonderful you have gained a sense of familial bonding and love that your parents had, through your findings.

    Yes, we do experience those kinds of losses… We are all in the stages of dying from the minute we are born…I read that somewhere, but can’t remember where.

    I empathize with your loss…


    1. Thank you, Lorri. It’s so comforting to know where I come from, at last.

      That quote sounds familiar to me too. It’s stark… And yet has a sense of certainty about it that is also a comfort… Because we are all in the same boat.


  4. Hello Freya, absolutely beautiful. Your haibun expresses the emotions felt during this time is just the perfect way. The treasure of answers and a token of love, at such a time. A wonderful haibun and treasure indeed! xx

    1. Thank you, Penny. Of course, the other gift I have been given is to not be afraid to ask what I think might be the difficult questions – the stories we make up in our heads are often not at all related to the actuality! But, I thought what I included in this haibun was enough. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Freya I echo Helen here – what a powerful piece, in all its parts, and in its ending. This is real, raw and beautiful writing, because of the way it developed, because of the sincerity and because of moments like this – ‘I have felt that my history has been so full of mist and fog’ that take my breath away. Am humbled.

  6. It is funny because the other judge didn’t put those requests on her page….hmmmm…..none-the-less this is wonderful!!! So emotional and I really got swept away.

  7. A journey of feelings, words and memories. So powerful, emotionally moving, that hinge of sadness, still very strong presence of light. The haibun that will stay on my mind, making me wander and remember. And cherish.

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