Ligo Haibun Challenge – The unfillable thirst!

For my haibun I’ve chosen the following quote:

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

Life is lived in gulps when you’re creative, when you’re beautiful, when you’re smart, when you’re born very poor and a female. Those irreconcilable differences of who and why you even exist, much less the fabric of who you are become inconsolable when alone, so once famous enough you gulp at things in a curious mixture of compelling needs, desires and forbidden fruit.

Filling needs unfillable by your definition of life and understanding. Too little, too late, and the unendurable doubt of what is real and true.

So more and more those gulps of life lived on the edge take over, the extremes of danger, risk, passion. Either that or through oblivion’s eyes watch as  night stretches endlessly out towards the unattainable, cleanly defined by who you are not.

To be just who you are, not who you made yourself become – to be recognized.

not who I am
filling nights endless void
all I am not


Marilyn Monroe (photo above “street art depiction”) is undoubtedly one of the most famous recognizable hollywood actresses in the world today although her stardom and death happened more than a half a century ago.

She is viewed as a major sex symbol and yet Norma Jeane Mortenson (her real name) poor, lonely and indifferently bandied about foster care homes for most of her youth understood, at a very young age, that her best chance at life was to become something other than what she was. The view from her talented and intelligent eyes being that what she was – wasn’t working very well as far as life’s conditions went.

Her last few years are indicative of the emotional trauma within her. Illness, drug problems, depression. And yet today she is a pop and cultural icon, due entirely to the fact of how well she recreated herself – sadly for the wrong reasons – Acceptance! She died of an overdose of barbiturates in 1962! Her legacy lives on.

Here is Elton Johns tribute to Norma Jeane:


For more information on how to enter this weeks Ligo Haibun Challenge click here!

Thank you for dropping by, I hope you enjoyed, have an excellent weekend!

~ Penny


31 thoughts on “Ligo Haibun Challenge – The unfillable thirst!

  1. I knew this Ligo Challenge was meant for you when I read the two choices. Marilyn Monroe is who so many of us are, walking around in another shell. Although it can be very freeing to be who we are meant to be, the criticism encountered along the way can take many of us down the wrong path in life. This is a beautiful tribute to a very troubled soul.

    • Thank you LuAnn, I agree, more or less, many can relate to her (minus the humongous fame – which would put anyone over the top, emotionally!) early life experiences and indirectly the choices she made as a result. I can’t imagine the pressure, and the dichotomy she must have felt inside.

  2. your haibun as a tribute to M. Monroe all very lovely. i recently watched the movie about her. sad to think how rich her life seemed on the surface but in reality her emotional turmoil within suffocated the life right out of her. i also love the painting you selected. nice!

  3. Pingback: Līgo Haibun Challenge Update | Today

  4. I guess I think about how this applies to everyone, who we are, personas we create intentionally and unintentionally, the roads we choose, the consequences, so many things to think about here and written in such a way that causes reflection.

  5. I actually have a single CD never opened of that Elton John tune.
    I think it is still quite amazing how many still believe that if they could just get the chance they would be so different…and yet every other day in the news… another young ‘star’ is found, unable to cope – coped out.

    We, as you say need to believe in ourselves first.

  6. Penny I sense the same as you… Marilyn was most likely a good heart and loving soul. Elton John says it well, “never knowing who to cling to when the rain set in” — I wish she’d been able to sort that out, and not need to cling to anyone outside of her strong inner-self. A beautiful post and tribute to this legendary woman who has taught many after her a lot of important lessons ~ Love to you my beloved friend x Robyn

    • We do so think alike, dearest friend! How many women (minus the famous part) did she represent… does she still represent today? The lessons of her life continue on! Much much love to you Robyn. xo

  7. She did not have a very happy life. Yet this quote is many layered and reflects the deep understanding of life she developed. …….

    Interesting perspectives that you discussed here.

  8. Gloria Steinman wrote a very good book about her.

    I can never hear that song anymore without remembering
    Elton’s version of it for Princess Diana:

  9. I love what you did! I will be honest, Marilyn was never one of my favorites…I prefer kind of ladies. Marilyn I felt was always a lost child in a woman’s body where men exploited her yet she was smart enough to make it work for her. I think she was always searching for a father role model in her life.
    LOVED the haiku 🙂

  10. I get the sense of her wanting to be more than she was, or even wanting those things that would give her a sense of self worth. As famous as she was I’m not sure her level of fame is any desirable state to aspire to. As always Penny you have set a challenging task this week.
    Your posting I have enjoyed.

  11. Well done Haibun, Penny! This is a very deep and thought provoking post (my favorite kind). I remember hearing that Marilyn had wanted to have a child. She sounds like she was very sweet.

    Warm wishes ~ Wendy

    • I’ll bet she was a very sweet human being, her internal life must have been a difficult one, trying to make all the pieces fit into some kind of normalcy. Thanks for stopping by Wendy, xx

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