Half a Haibun 1

Half a haibun a collaborative project between 10000hoursleft.wordpress.com and other bloggers part 1 - the unhappy wife with K E  Garland

The two bedroom apartment and the job I had were because of Thom. We built a life together: eating breakfast, driving to work, eating lunch, returning home, eating dinner. His reliable presence smothered me.

But the alternative was to return home.

“Now, will you marry me?”

Why not, I thought.

love’s blind artisan

stokes furnace, raising ashes

thirst’s empty vessel

brimming in complicity

Madame Pele’s dormant wrath


Tanka inspired by an extract from The Unhappy Wife, by Dr K E Garland. The book is a fictionalised account of the real lives of 12 women who are/were in unhappy marriages, and includes an afterword by relationship coach Anita Charlot. The extract is from Chapter 4, capturing the world of one of the ‘voiceless’ wives. I am currently reading my paperback copy and loving the insight into the characters and unique circumstances that have caused the dysfunction in each relationship. Kathy has done a great job distilling the essence of her wives (as she calls them) and painting their unique shades of unhappiness in an engaging read.  If you’d like to order yourself a copy, head to kegarland.com.

This is the first of an ongoing (and occasional) feature, called  Half a Haibun. I look forward to getting stuck into this collaborative project, with bloggers I admire submitting prose that I will use as inspiration for a tanka or haiku. The intention being that together, we’ll create a whole; 2 halves converging to add a richness and complexity to one another, in the form of a haibun. Look out for more from December 2016 onward, as my November is all about THIS.

49 thoughts on “Half a Haibun 1

  1. You’re welcome- so excited for you and I really value our friendship so it has been my pleasure xx

    Thanks in advance for scheduled november encouragement. Yikes- now I can’t pretend the idea never happened 😯

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Tareau. I have finished the book actually – it was a good read even if at times I wanted to close my eyes and not witness some of the relationships unfold into inevitable unhappy ever after. Kathy told the stories well and what I found interesting was just how one sided a lot of the stories (if not all) came across- a lesson there that whenever we tell our stories (as the women did), a lot of the times the answers to why things happen the way they do requires viewing things from a range of perspectives. These women actually chose these men but I got the feeling that they weren’t really examining their own choices but painting the picture of how they were victims of bad marriages. They’re the characters though, but back to the writing- Kathy really distilled the stories to give us a sense of each woman’s married life, with enough details in exchanges with their husbands or their general life perspectives for the reader to paint the remainder of the story and imagine what the backstory might have been before these women met their man (or men in one case). I also found it made me think about my own relationship and how it might come across to a reader who reads it not knowing myself or my partner. Have you read the book? If so, what’d you think?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Mek, a clever review! I wonder why it is that people are so interested in other people’s relationships? Do you think it’s a voyeuristic gene that we all carry? Could it be that we somehow feel ok with our own relationships if we see that others don’t always get it right or is there a feeling of smugness if we get it right and others are plainly not doing so? What you have written just threw up all these questions for me. I’m not expecting you to have all the answers.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks Marie. Can’t speak for everyone or their genes, but my interest is in human behaviour- what drives people to be a certain way and do certain things- I like observing and understanding. Seeing another relationship (good or bad) doesn’t make me feel better or worse about mine- but if I learn something which I then apply to my life- that’s where it can influence my relationship.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Now how did you guess that Mek? Mek you so clever eeeh? hahahaha
        I have been on a roller coaster girl. But I am still holding on for dear life …I still count my blessings though. How about you? Is the little one keeping you on your toes? And no, I don’t mean your latest book review! 🙂
        One Love! x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great collaborative project – you’re right: as a reader of both your work and Dr. K E Garland’s I’m feeling all kinds of delicious complexity from your offerings! Thanks! I look forward to enjoying more of “half a haibun.”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love this, Mek – I think many women can relate to it in some way from some point in their lives. And I am warmed to know it is the product of collaboration between friends. You and Kathy are both very talented women.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Payal, yes, so easy to settle with the pressure to fit some kind of ‘normal’. The stories in Kathy’s book were really eye opening- always easier to spot a train wreck either in hindsight or when observing others. Thanks so much- it has been fun working on a few posts with Kathy- she’s an inspiring woman. You are on my hit list of people to ask if they’d like to collaborate- might fill any awkward silences when we meet on tuesday- so looking forward to it xx

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I don’t think there will be any awkward silences at all. Or any silences at all because we will have so much to talk about. I am looking forward to it very much. And am so flattered to be on your hit list 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know ! I’ll have to make sure I get back to work on time haha. I have been so slack contacting people aside from a couple and no that isn’t to do with preferences, just how it panned out. Order in which they happen will totally be driven by inspiration of both parties…no schedule or commitments! Have a lovely night xx


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