I have an added note to my daily Haiku posting today. Yesterday I picked up a copy of Natalie Goldberg’s latest book, “Three Simple Lines” which is about her trip to Japan researching the Haiku Masters Basho, Shiki, Issa, Buson, et al. Just in the first few pages I have gained a new insight to the art of Haiku. The biggest one is that it does not have to adhere to the five-seven-five syllable lines as I was taught back in a college lit class. The other is that it is not only just three simple lines, but three simple lines that convey a message that can be taken either literally or with a deeper meaning of the Zen mind. So for now, Happy New year and here is today’s Haiku for your thoughtful pleasure.
The old man plods slowly
with his gnarled stick.
The mountain was high.
My guitar sounds sad.
Maybe a time of despair?
A bell chimed with love.
Snow packed icy roads.
Traffic moves slow by our house.
Snow glistens on trees.
Monday with new snow.
Dangerous roads and passes.
Flowers bloom in spring.
Another brief selection from Russell Henderson when he and Hanna were in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Summer came in, welcomed everybody, “Namaste and good morning, so happy to see all the familiar faces. We have two visitors with us today. Hanna and Russell. Welcome them to our little studio.”
They all looked over at us and smiled. I know they were really looking at me. I knew they were all thinking, What’s this man doing here. He should know better. This is for us women. I was slowly dying inside. Then, somehow, in unison, they all said, “Welcome Hanna and Russell,” like they had rehearsed it. I wanted to melt into the floor and disappear.
“Hanna tells me that this will be your first yoga class, Russell? Don’t worry, it’s a small group of regulars today, so I’ll be able to spend time with you and help you out. Just don’t worry. We like new people, especially men.”
Please god, just let somebody just shoot me . . . now!
Summer then announced the plan which would be forty-five minutes of easy restoration yoga followed by a thirty minute meditation. Dammit! I wanted to ask Hanna about meditation, but forgot.
I whispered over to her, “What is meditation?”
She looked back, frowning and whispered, “Shhhh!”
I am so screwed! Risk assessment, asshole!