Haiku To You!

3 Sep

The last thing I ever imagined doing is writing Japanese Haiku.  I didn’t even know what it was until the other day when I stumbled upon the word and decided to explore its meaning.  So, inspired by the lovely vacation surroundings in Oregon, I took pen in hand.

Trust me.  Haiku is not easy.  But who thought this classical, ancient form of Japanese poetry would be simple?  Well, me, of course.

Haiku consists of three lines, each with a precise structure so that the final product has seventeen syllables and addresses some aspect of duality.  Impressed?  The key, according to those who really know, is the juxtaposition of opposites in a thought, like: up vs. down; beauty vs. ugliness; good vs. evil.  Things like that.  So, on the tranquil mountainside, amid all the glorious oak trees, I noticed the abundance of moss creeping up tree trunks and clinging to stately limbs.  I said to myself:  moss is a parasite and it will eventually damage the tree, so here is my duality:  good vs. bad; life vs. death.  Haiku, here I come!

Why do so many of us rush into new adventures ill prepared?  Why do Westerners, in particular, assume everything is quickly accomplished and easily done?  “It’s a snap,” we say and then set out to accomplish something for which we are poorly prepared or about which we are completely ignorant.  I’ve been known to call repairmen or plumbers to correct the mistakes I made after having attempted to repair a gadget or a widget that I knew nothing about.  The same principle applies to Haiku.

So, I resolve to be slow and diligent in my relationship with this ancient tradition.  Patience.  Study.  Practice.  More patience.  Humility.  A willingness to learn.  Acceptance of the reality that sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t.  These are wonderful ideas to bear in mind as one steps into the unknown.

And that same principle works pretty well, too, when applied to to the spiritual journey that so many of us pursue.

And, no, you cannot read my Haiku.

One Response to “Haiku To You!”

  1. Elodie September 3, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    Thanks Roger for showing me I do need patience on this spiritual journey…so good to see others are impatient too…glad I’m not the only one learning. Namaste, Elodie

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