Thursday, August 7, 2014

Carpe Diem #534, Ancestors

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Haiku, as you all know, is a Japanese poetry form. So in a way, as we write haiku, we are Japanese for a moment. Our prmpt for today is ancestors an that brings me to the point of honoring your ancestors.
We are all bound, by birth, to our ancestors, but do we honor our ancestors in the way of the Japanese?
I think that we all will have memories of our ancestors, but, as I look at myself, I don't have a kind of altar for my ancestors as the most Japanese will have. I have only photos of them. No candles or something to worship them, as the Japanese do.
It's a habit in Japan to worship ancestors by 'building' them an altar and burn incense for them. That Japanese custom is a bit strange, in my opinion, but maybe that's because of my upbringing. I have learned, as a Christian, that we only need to worship God and through Him we honor our ancestors. My ancestors are part of my life, but I don't worship them. Of course I honor them as being the roots of my being, my life.
The Japanese people have a very strong bond with their ancestors, they are really part of their life as shown in the custom of ancestor worship by building them an altar and burning incense to have a spiritual connection with them. It's based in their cultural and ancient religion of Shinto.

Credits: Ancestor Worship
Ok ... back to our prompt. Today, as I said, ancestors is our prompt and it is based on several aphorisms by Khalil Gibran's "Sand and Foam".

[...] "Remembrance is a form of meeting". [...]

So if we remember our ancestors we meet them.

And in another aphorism Gibran says:

[...] "My house says to me, "Do not leave me, for here dwells your past." And the road says to me, "Come and follow me, for I am your future." And I say to both my house and the road, "I have no past, nor have I a future. If I stay here, there is a going in my staying; and if I go there is a staying in my going. Only love and death will change all things." [...]

Ancestor worship is like going on your path, and leave a part of your heart behind, because if you leave a part of your heart at home, you are connected with your ancestors while underway to your own destiny. Your ancestors will guide you on your path ...
Ancestors are a part of us. They are in our genes and will always be with us. They are in our mind and heart. They are a part of us.

at the jumble sale
the photo of someone's grandma,
she smiles at me

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 10th at noon (CET). I will, try to, post our next episode, pearls, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at CDHK.


  1. My dear Chevrefeuille, you are on a role again! After the exemplary haiku yesterday you came out with a very, very special one in this charming post. Thank you. I am not sure....but this haiku, or senryu just seems to be really one of the most beautiful yet.

    1. Hamish! for some reason Im unable to comment on your blog!! tried previously also but to no avail!! i just wanted to say thats a beautiful senryu! maybe kindness o all living beings and non violence reflect upon reincarnation of all souls... other than being inherent qualities... :)

  2. The poignant haiku you give us here is just exquisite. We seem to have been thinking around similar lines. Photographs are a very special kind of memori

  3. Exceptionally beautiful, Kristjaan. And I must admit - although K.Gibran' s aphorisms are inspiring, your haiku really brought it home for me.

  4. Thats the cutest haiku ever Kristjaan!

  5. Love the Haiku. It is so cute. Really good post. : )

  6. Memories of certain ancestors bring stories and smiles. Thank you Kristjaan your haiku was sweet

  7. That photo makes me smile back :)

  8. Great haiku Kristjaan!

  9. What a touching haiku Chevrefeuille -- it always breaks my heart to see family photographs at garage sales, yard sales, auctions -- so sad to see someone's family history for sale, to see the disconnection with the past.

  10. Because she's smiling at you, she has become, in some mysterious way, your grandmother too.