Cherished Voices ~ haibun

Cherished Voices.jpg

Cherished Voices

Silently, yet so full of stories, the plastic box sits on a closet shelf, patiently waiting for me. I lift it carefully and place it on a side table in the bedroom. Just the motion of lifting it seems to wake something. Perhaps it’s the light reaching the contents through the translucent sides, but the box seems to take on life, like a faint buzz passing through the sides and into my hands.

I unlatch the lid and raise it to look upon faces I’ve known through my life: parents, grandparents, sisters, cousins and children. I realize the buzzing has become a murmur of voices, each of the many photographs inside whispering a narrative about events, as well as emotions. I move them around, sift through them as I listen to their tales, stopping at the one picture that always seems to draw me into its very depths.

All are relative to my life, but this one stands out from all the others, going back to my very own beginnings. I hold a photo of my parents standing on my grandparents lawn on their wedding day. In a photograph that was black and white until painted in watercolor by a dear friend of theirs, it seems as though he was drawing the joy on their faces into the world around them. Every time I look at this, I recall the wonderful home they gave me and I hear their voices once more.

in the joy of youth
sealing their love with a vow
bond of a lifetime

For Haibun Monday: Murmuration at dVerse,
qbit/Randall asks us to consider a single element of a greater whole, telling how it stands as a part of the group, yet apart from it.

38 thoughts on “Cherished Voices ~ haibun

    • Thank you, Sue.
      Interestingly, that wedding photo also brings up my grandfather’s voice. Maybe because it took place in his backyard, but I (we) lived with him from the age of 6 to 11, and he lived with us for a few months when I was 13. When I was 9, I traveled with him from Buffalo to Minneapolis, a 2000 mile round-trip drive in the days before interstate highways so that was a lot of time in the car. I met family (his sisters) I’ve never seen again and saw some pretty amazing sights (with no photos, sadly). That is one of my favorite memories from my youth.
      Wow! All of that from my parents wedding photo. Thank you for helping me reminisce, Sue.


  1. I enjoyed the release of voices, Ken, I also like the contrast between the silent plastic box and the murmur of voices when the lid’s removed, and the way you zoom in on the photograph of your parents on their wedding day.


    • 🙂 My mother wasn’t thinking clearly after my father died and threw away many snapshots of our childhood. The wedding photo had been in an album with other large format photos of that day, as were some studio photos of my sister and I before I was six, and those were saved. (And she did save our school photos – to our embarrassment when viewed by our children!) Hers was a very slow advance, but it was an early sign that a couple of mini-strokes had taken their toll. My sister reminded her how important family photos are, and she was religious about saving them from that point on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know that feeling of s omething lost…my grandfather threw out everything when my grandmother died. All those photos, the history, gone. My father was not sentimental, but I wish I had something more now.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Frank.
      And they do have stories. One photo is of my son sitting in a small helicopter (at an air show) with the stick in his hand, turning to the camera with such a light of excitement in his eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

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