Home Again – Haibun Thinking

AnElephantCant remember forever
Maybe just 1 or 2 hundred years
But though he is old
His humour’s not cold
His rhymes still reduce strong men and he hopes pretty ladies to tears

AnElephant makes another interminable assault on this great weekly challenge hosted by his friend Al, who is still achieving wondrous things with this site.
Please take a moment to check out this page to see some superb interpretations of the Japanese Haibun, a literary form which explores the relationship between the human experience and nature.
This week AnElephant chooses as his inspiration this painting by his favourite artist, Vincent van Gogh.
Sorry, Phil.

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Home Again

Those of you who have read my previous ramblings may be aware of two things about me.
One, I spent much of my childhood in South Africa.
Two, I do not stay anywhere for very long.
I detailed my nomadic tendencies at some length in last week’s contribution to this excellent weekly challenge.
But I failed to say one thing.
I have a simple way of determining what is, for me, home.
It is not where I lay my hat.
That lies in a cobwebbed corner awaiting next summer’s sunshine.
It is not where the heart is.
Because my heart is in many places.
There are people I love scattered across the globe, and my heart is already painfully fragmented.
No, it is where I hang an old battered print in a cheap wooden frame.
I purchased this on the return trip from Durban.
I was in my teens, just.
We sailed, perhaps aeroplanes had not yet been invented.
I saw this picture in a flea market in, I think, Port Elizabeth, and purchased it for the princely sum, in those days, of 1 shilling and nine pence.
Do not fret, there is no way to translate that into real money!
For some reason it caught my imagination.
I had no particular interest in art, being devoid of any talent in that field.
I would like to say I was inspired by the tragic tale of the artist, but I have no recollection if that is so.
Regardless, throughout my life, single or married, whenever I move into a new place, my first act is to place it prominently on the wall.
It is, as shown below, a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh.
I like to think he looks over me, as he never did for himself.

for the solitary wanderer
there are always stars
to guide him home again

Self Portrait in a Felt Hat by Vincent van Gogh

Self Portrait in a Felt Hat by Vincent van Gogh

This entry was posted in Daft Rhymes, haibun and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Home Again – Haibun Thinking

  1. Mélanie says:

    exquisite post, Sir! respectful regards, Mélanie


  2. So nicely done sir, a treasure to hold forever.


  3. Bonnie says:

    I loved your story….I loved how you can be touched so deeply by a painting. If I may~ one thing that I believe resonated with you is the honesty in his eyes. And honesty is something you will never tire of as it will keep this painting nailed to your current wall and all those in the future.


  4. Al says:

    Very insightful post. I love van Gogh’s paintings, and you have a way of telling things.


  5. globalunison says:

    This is a beautiful post!! Thank you for sharing.



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