When Amanda asked me to contribute to this interview thread I was at first reluctant to take part because I felt I had no great achievements to show due to our unsettled childhood and teenage years, following my father around as a diplomat, our education disrupted, with self studying for most of the later years. We improved our English by reading books, also learning and singing songs and self study only. But I have been encouraged to share my story here.
My last employment was at the Embassy of Japan, Yangon, Myanmar, which was my longest employment tenure. I was first assigned to the Economic section and this lasted for ten years. Although I was happy working there, due to policy requirements, I was transferred to the Information and Culture section. I survived here for only two years since and unlike my former work it involved in-office as well as out of office duties all year round. As I was nearing the menopause, alongside being stressed and burnt out, I decided to quit as it was affecting my health and wellbeing.
After taking some online courses I went to Singapore to try to get a job. Although immediately recruited the Ministry of Labour didn’t approve my work permit. So back to Myanmar I came, and my former boss took me on for some short term contracts. After that I was recruited by another diplomatic mission but also only for a six months contract. A very difficult time followed when after three years of job searching as I was approaching 50 I was unable to find employment. Due to my deteriorating health I decided to retire and live quietly on my savings. But for three more years I did find some freelance translating work until I retired totally to live a quiet life.
I kept myself busy exercising and doing some crocheting, with the aim of helping abused girls, however this did not get a good response and I had to stop to get an eye operation. After that, came the Covid lockdowns. Then I found The Daily Haiku, by coincidence starting with a Haiku shared by my brother. At the Cultural section I had heard of Basho sensei’s frog, jump, pond then silence Haiku…It had been etched in my mind, but I had never had the time to explore haiku further.
I am not a writer but have an interest in art works especially sketches mixed with a love for embroidery and crochet as well as sporting activities. As I am a sports person it’s hard to be grounded by this depletion of hormones…something which can’t be treated here. I do enjoy singing and like beautiful song lyrics. So that’s the way I found TDH and got hooked, due to it’s short, thought provoking features and calming nature.
Due to my post MP severe hot flushes I struggle with concentration and energy levels. I live alone now, since all my siblings are married with their own lives, I have been excessively sweating for over thirteen years now and I feel myself with less energy every passing year, particularly in the summer months.
So that’s about it Ms. Amanda. All my life I have been overloaded with house chores and office work throughout the week with no time for any other engagement to enjoy my life. I am a very sport loving person and now I am unable to pursue that part of my life as I once did. That’s why I love The Daily Haiku which is light and fun, just enough for my health situation, especially in the warm family atmosphere. I am really indebted to you and fortunate to have found TDH.
As for using photos and images that I find on the internet, (due to the fact that we are not fortunate to have lovely nature around us) it is to help me imagine my thoughts. I think the images do get an added attention, as the photos are also attractive. I usually ask the page or photographer for permission prior to posting, whether legally required or not; and never use any if I don’t get permission. I use the free images from pages like Unsplash or Pixabay just for fun and as accompaniments to my haiku. But looking to the future with my haiku I want to aim to work hard to create a perfect haiku without an image such as those I have read from Mr Summers and Mr Keith and other great poets.
Here is a selection of my haiku.
face to face
on the crowded bus
on moonlit lake
through mud and sludge
the cause for tears that won’t fall
shadows holding on
painting rolling waves
a starling murmuration
time to return home