For quite a while in my last year as the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, I wrote a haiku every day and posted it on this blog. My thinking at the time was that I needed a bit of thinking each day that wasn’t about work, some encroaching deadline or knotty personnel problem, thinking that was creative and ruled by syllables and expression, not by external demands. I began carrying my phone with me on my morning runs so I could capture the visual that often set me off into haiku composition, reordering words and phrases as I ran.
This morning I walked out of the house and there were the three cows that are pastured across the street from my porch this summer. I know their movements across the field most likely have nothing to do with me, but whenever I see them in my corner, I feel lucky, like they’ve come to greet me.
Looking at the cows a haiku started in my head and I realized, even in this post-intense-daily-job life I’m now living, I’m still so busy I’m rarely writing in the way I’d imagined I would be 14 months after leaving my job. Part of the problem is that I’m still working, and even though the work is consulting jobs that leave plenty of time to fit other things around the edges of the billable hours I put in, those other things include many things besides writing.
So, what about a new haiku habit? I don’t need to read another article that tells me the only way to write is to just sit down and write. I know that, and I am writing, it’s just not the sustained, focused level of creation I’d imagined. So what if I commit to a haiku a day, just that space of 17 syllables (okay, I know it’s on in Japanese, not the same as syllables, as I wrote here less than a month ago, but the syllable scheme works for me), those minutes of capturing a moment? That could lead to more minutes, more focus, more creation.
I doubt all the haikus will end up on this blog, but here’s a start to the habit.
Three cows this season
Working stubble for fresh green
In my own corner.