One Deep Breath has really inspired me to think about haiku. I hadn’t thought about writing a haiku since high school english class, but now I’m composing them in my head as I go throughout my day. Expect to see more of them in this space! The second one is not a “traditional” haiku as I understand it, although maybe someone with more knowledge than I can comment on this. It is a Fibonacci sequence haiku (1,1,2,3,5 syllables)
The sky at midnight
Silver sparks against velvet
Soft and infinite
the sky with
her tiny mouse feet
leaves red footprints across the blue
My son is currently five months, two weeks and three days old, and so we are in the process of introducing him to solid food. And by solid food I mean the appetizing confections found in jars and which are various shades of pea-green and a brownish-orange that reminds me of the Harvest Gold color found in bathrooms last decorated in the 70s. We’re currently working on peas, which at first he liked, to a surprising degree. The first two nights he eagerly opened his mouth for each spoonful, and swallowed most of what went in.
But the last two nights he has decided that the peas are no longer delicious and are in fact deserving of high pitched screams and much arm-flailing. His mouth is small of course and the spoons are also small, and with his head bobbing around as he searched desperately to find an escape route from the high chair, it became harder and harder to hit my target. The end result was a baby liberally smeared with a thick green paste that looks like something from a horror movie. (Coming soon! The Exorcist starring Pumpkin Doodle!) Getting the peas off his face wasn’t that hard. It was getting the peas out of his nose that was the challenge.
My son has a strong aversion to having his nose touched, much less wiped and certainly extracting mashed and strained peas from his nostril is right out. I tried to get as much out as I could but he was putting up such a fuss I decided to give him (and myself) a little time to calm down. That was a mistake, because when this particular brand of peas dries it takes on a consistency something like concrete. So there is my beautiful son, chubby cheeks and blue eyes, with a large pellet of dried peas in his nose that looks exactly like the world’s most enormous booger. I made a few more vain attempts with a warm washcloth throughout the evening but was unsuccessful in removing it completely. I eventually decided to let it work its way out on its own. It was still there in the morning but somewhat smaller, and when he came home from the baby-sitter that afternoon it was gone entirely. Our baby-sitter has a thing about runny noses so maybe she was more persistent than I was in removing the pea/booger/concrete. I was just happy his face was clean. Until the next meal, that is.
Next to the glory of the sun, the sweetness of the stars, the strength of the tides, we are invisible. Humble and scared we scuttle from birth to death, closing our eyes to the truth that we cannot live forever. Some place their faith in an afterlife, while others wear themselves out celebrating their youth. I believe in the permanance of love. I believe the sound of my son’s laughter will last forever in my memory. I believe that the majesty of our quest to understand and connect matches that of the tallest mountain peak. I believe that when we join together with a common purpose our stature grows like an oak. I believe that even though our bodies are modest creations, our souls are like stars. Hidden like invisible jewels, we can only see them with our eyes closed.
“Voici mon secret. Il est tres simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”
“Here is my secret. It is very simple: one sees well only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes. ”
~Le Petit Prince par Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Lately I’m discovering just how many amazing creative people there are out there. I’ve been participating in the Mama Says Om project, which has really been challenging me to think about how to convey ideas through photography. Now I’ve discovered One Deep Breath, a blog which gives a writing prompt for haiku each week. The previous post was my first attempt at writing a haiku for a given prompt. It’s really difficult and I fear I have a long way to go. But wow! It feels so good to stretch those creative muscles! The last eight and half years have really atrophied my poetry-sense. All along I’ve composed poems in my head as I go through the day but they have laid there unwritten, pushed aside by textbooks and sleep deprivation. It is a relief to start expressing myself with photography and words again. I think I needed this.
Looking back on my earlier posts, it’s interesting to see my writing with fresh eyes. I have a long way to go as far as writing style goes. Maybe it’s just shaking the rust off, or maybe I just was never a great writer. Either way, I hope to improve with practice. There are a lot of great writers, both online and in print, that I’ve been soaking myself in lately. I’d love to someday be published, or even to have a regular readership online. To be able to reach people through art as well as medicine, that would truly be a great thing.
Water, still and green
reflects only the silence
that is filled with light.
are you hallucination
or new beginning?
Be patient with me
if I clutch you too tightly.
It is only because the distance growing between us
is too much to bear.
I may speak normally
but locked in the back-room of my heart
is a nameless dread of separation,
I do not speak its name even when
in the quiet dark
I lay my hand on your chest
to assure myself of its rise and fall.