This afternoon I spent several hours in a quiet place on the cliffs above incoming waves looking out to Mana island with clouds swelling up from the horizon. For some of that time an aging Maori couple sat nearby also lost in silent contemplation of their own sublime emptiness. No words were exchanged but the depth of connection between us, the sea, the land, the birds and vegetation brings a stillness that the wind, the sound of birds and the relentless movement of the sea only deepens.
 
The wife of a close friend is in the inexorable process of the last stages of metastasized cancer of the liver. Many of us are going through the process with her in the only way that we can be present to the abiding human loneliness she is now experiencing more deeply.
 
ebb tide . . .
the undercurrents
of silence

cattails  Premier Edition - January 2014
Editor's Choice - Haibun


Editor's Comments

Sometimes the most complex interactions we have with others revolve around birth and death. On the one hand, not one of us can avoid these two events, nor can they be experienced in a way that allows them to be fully shared with others. Yet, there we are in the midst of "the end", without words that matter, without explanations that truly have meaning. In the end it is the "silence" that most fully defines these moments, and completes the "sharing". This haibun brings this fact into sharp relief without a wasted syllable. Silence indeed takes a ‘form’ of it’s own, and fills the spaces in and between.

—UHTS Haibun Editor Mike Rehling, USA