**disclaimer: I’ve spent the last two hours trying to format this freaking post. I give up. It is what it is**
At the beginning of January, I accepted an invitation to join a Facebook Group, the premise of which is that each member will write one haiku a day for the year. Since leaving my job in late summer, I’ve been struggling to put words to paper (or computer), so I joined this group with two thoughts: the accountability and peer pressure would be good for me (not that anything untoward would happen if I didn’t perform), and surely I could manage 17 syllables a day. If I couldn’t manage three lines, then maybe I needed to reconsider this whole writing gig.
So, January 1 being what it is, the first day of resolutions, I set out to meet two of mine: a haiku and healthier eating. The two goals collided into this:First resolution Fails Rice Krispies taste icky With coconut milk Not deathless poesy, but good enough for a couple of LOLs in the comments section. At first I felt kind of bad because some of the haikus were awesome and heartfelt—I thought maybe I was playing a little too fast and loose with my allotted syllables. I persevered nonetheless, and as the days passed, I really started looking forward to not only posting my own creations but to reading other members’ haikus. Each day felt like a treasure hunt, each little poem, a gift, a bit of insight into lives I hardly knew, and some I didn’t know at all, reflections from around the world on death, politics, weather, climate, gardens, families, words (always on words), jobs, teaching, writing, and lots and lots of snow.
My own haikus began to reflect what was going on in my life, from the simple things like travel:Pesky roundabouts Gordian knots of travel Complicate my drive
To the more complex emotions that I couldn’t otherwise articulate (and that make The Little Woman slightly crazy—because she truly wants to understand the creative, writer me and make me feel less anxious):The wanting, a bloom Like ripples across the pond Mysterious ache
I started doing body work, massage and acupuncture and physical therapy in search of ways to lessen my anxiety and annoying/mysterious physical symptoms I’ve been having since last spring, which led to haikus like these:Poetry loosens the tight place in my center a deep word massage Knead me with language Releasing tightly coiled, Naked emotions
(and this one, when my massage therapist returned from a trip to India):Massage therapist Returned from enlightenment Lay your hands on me!
There have been haikus as a result of therapy and hypnotherapy sessions as I’ve struggled to come to grips with the new course my life seems to be taking—or as I’ve tried to take some control of my life as I contemplate changing careers:Face my face. Reflect. Self love trapped in the mirror. Eyes see naked fear. Trust Occam’s Razor That’s right. The simple answer Is likely correct.
Haikus as I’ve wrestled with self-doubt:Invisible girl Becomes an opaque woman Turn toward the light Spinning syllables Like so many sticky strands snaring self esteem Face down my deep fear breathe deeply, write word, word, word sentence, paragraph
And more on writing:words, flat black squiggles unequal to the challenge litter my pages writing: like pulling quarters from your ears or like your head from your ass? strings of syllables strung across the abacus clacking back and forth
There are clusters of 17 syllables about family:Visiting Mother Our past. My future. Her womb. Cord blood, still tethered Freshly cut cedar Takes me back to childhood Dad mom brother me
And then there are those that I can’t explain—the ones that come as I’m deep in thought pondering images and metaphors and playing with words. Some of these are my favorites, though if pressed to explain them, I don’t think I could, and that’s what I love about this process—I don’t know what is going to show up day to day, but every day I get something:Words like locks tumbling Falling into place just so Speak the key to me This rucksack’s stuffed with IOUs and promises— words, my currency Play me for a fool Or like a Spanish guitar My heart strings, your song
And everyday, I am excited to see what others in the Haiku Room have posted—to read, 17 syllables at a time, what we are all making of this journey:Sunday morning mass in the haiku room, poems our catechism
This is a place I can worship. Like one of the group members commented when I posted the haiku above:
Oh, this filled my heart with joy! And it reminded me of one of my favorite Hafiz quote: “The great religions are the ships. Poets the life boats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.”
Posted By Blogger to Putting on My Big Girl Panties at 2/04/2014 11:41:00 PM