Silver Joy

His robe flapped against his bony legs as he trudged uphill, the night arrhythmic, the hoary cold blowing on its fingers, pensive. He had broken his stony silence only once, the monastery clinging to the cliff above us, bowing, listening, glowing a pearly white. Happiness is a constant. Everyone is handed the exact same amount. Misery on the other hand, is what you make out of your happiness. His words by now tactile, twisting sharply into carefully forgotten memories.

I stopped, breathing hard, the shadows scattering for a moment, before settling on my face, dropping sleeping leaves on my skin. I dug deep, sifting through the gravelly pain, a familiar ache beginning to spread and darken like an itinerant blood stain. After a while, a moment, a year, a lifetime, I lay back on the rocks exhausted and ripped open a bar of chocolate. He laughed and stretched out his hand, asking for his share, the moon shimmering on his palm, the monastery slipping behind a cloud, the universe converging its light into his silver joy.

waning gibbous
caught in a tree
biding her time

For Dverse Poets where I am hosting a haibun prompt on Monday. Do join in if you can, it opens at 3PM EST.
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47 thoughts on “Silver Joy

  1. A possible interpretation: the paternalistic Adam/Eve myth is turned on its head with an enlightened Eve giving a monastic Adam a chance for his share of joy, perhaps even more than what was allocated πŸ™‚ ‘Carefully forgotten memories’ and ‘a familiar ache beginning to spread and darken like an itinerant blood stain’ are wow.

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  2. Zen & chocolate in moonlight, the perfect mix of whimsey & spirituality. Great sense of time & place, transported me to Mt. Baldy, walking with Leonard Cohen, to the perfect pitch of silence & naked truth.

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  3. I fell in love with two of your phrases. I know I will be thinking of them for while, for they invite to be explored. The concept of misery and happiness being so dependent on each other, being just a decision (or more) away… simply brilliant and provocative. Then the imagery of “tactile” words… love that. It would be such a great way to meditate, just letting the words say what they most to our skin.

    The prose is wonderful, and the best of icings.

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  4. I admire the reflections of happiness is a constant, and what we make of misery ~ The ending part strikes me as hopeful:

    He laughed and stretched out his hand, asking for his share, the moon shimmering on his palm, the monastery slipping behind a cloud, the universe converging its light into his silver joy.

    Thanks for hosting ~

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  5. Everyone is given the same amount of happiness. Misery is what you make out of your happiness… what an interesting concept. Great images in this… the monastery clinging to a cliff.. works so beautifully as both real and metaphorical… open to interpretation.

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  6. Your haibun transported me to the cliff in the moonlight. I felt the chill when I read the phrase: ‘the hoary cold blowing on its fingers’. I love the idea of words being tactile, and the phrase: ‘the shadows scattering for a moment, before settling on my face, dropping sleeping leaves on my skin’ is very atmospheric. And then, there is the moon, caught in a tree like a balloon πŸ™‚

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  7. Very beautiful writing. I want to know more, yet I like it as this intriguing glimpse of (perhaps) a larger story. I love the chocolate and the silver joy, and like everyone else am struck by the wisdom of the remarks on happiness and misery.

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  8. “Misery on the other hand, is what you make out of your happiness.” Love this message within this well penned haibun. Loved the idea of the monastery within their realm of being. Then the juxtapositioning of the chocolate bar with the monastic life….

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  9. The first and second paragraphs doesn’t obviously link, but the days, years later – is this a deja vu? The light hearted ending of the prose is lovely but the gibbous moon abiding its time in the tree is telling of a future tale/memory.

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  10. This speaks to me of lovers stealing away from their life in the monastery and taking those words to heart that you make your own misery in life and realizing that they chose happiness instead. And even the moon has to bide her time to become free of her entanglements… I loved this, Rajani.

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  11. Your closing three sentences for your prose really encapsulates a sense of joy, for me. I love the sound play in rocks/exhausted and I enjoy the concise imagery in your haiku…light on limbs…graceful. Thank you, so much for the prompt! πŸ™‚

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