Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 323

Every moment, change!
Today expectations veer
Off guard yet ready

Day 322

luck is slippery
slide and grab it by the tail
kiss then set it free

Day 321

joy lurks everywhere
trick is to avoid 'make work'
happiness grows wild

Day 320

flu bugs go around
praying hard I don't get bit
sniffles, sneezes, coughs

Day 319

a cold night, this night
inspired, we map out next year
come rain or come shine

Day 318

blankets, pillows, quilts
snug against the season's chill
warmth wins in the end

Day 317

press against the weight
golden harvest we embrace
food enough for all!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In the beginning... preamble to fireflyhaiku

This project actually began October 4, 2010. I decided to make at least one haiku summing up each day for at least a year. I initially made a collage each day to go with the haiku and fell in love with both the rhythm and the results. About a month into it, I lost the collection of collages on public transportation. That affected me more than I expected and I mourned the lost art as I might have mourned a friend. I stuck by my commitment to daily haiku but abandoned the collage-making.
Just now, reviewing the work not included in previous posts, I am at a loss for words. Each piece actually takes me again emotionally, viscerally to the moment, day, activity I hoped to remember. That's a big, big deal for me for reasons I won't go into, but at any rate, a haiku a day will be my prescription for life. :)
Note: Many of the first haiku had a little narrative that gave a bit more detail to the day's account. I'm leaving that intact.

Time is running out
Natural resources fail
Choked off by our greed

(Some days are just naturally grey and I still try to fight it) 1

I don’t understand
Ancestors who smile on me
Just because I am

(I feel like I’m doing the right thing…I see the evidence…but I don’t know how I did it.) 2

Sometimes we are blessed
By Spirit, inside and out
Eternal rivers

(When things go right, I have a million hands to thank; when things go wrong, I have a million hands to reach to for support) 3

Still I press on through the day
In spite of myself

(Hard to get started after a draining day and evening ((even though productive)) , yesterday) 4

This morning uncoils
Snaky stream of miracles
Brights hearts, good minds, join

(The best possible resources are brought together to focus on the well-being of people that I deeply care for!) 5

I indulge myself.
Bittersweet, reality
Is still delicious!

(By the end of the day, I am drained, in pain and even mildly disappointed; but more importantly, I am still happy.) 6

Far past exhaustion
In the place where dreams come true
Even sweeter rest

(The luxury of taking care of home, feathering the nest, finding what was lost, putting my feet up in victory!) 7

Hot, blue-sky day calls
“Why don’t you go to the beach?”
My desk groans with work

(CH put a bag of lunch in my hands, delicious rice balls stuffed with beans and chicken, a pear for dessert…making the extra effort worth it! ) 8

Work like a pack horse
Haul produce, keep your secrets
Root for the future

(My fears notwithstanding, what was critical got done in the end and I’m still standing) 9

I am committed
Each day will be photographed
Haiku by haiku

(Emotions roil beneath the fog of exhaustion, 3 meetings in a row spark panic followed by resolve to plug on like Sparky. The question, “What are you doing?” inspires an overwhelming rush of too many things to even try to articulate) 10

Each day is shorter
Workaholic lullabies
Spiced with autumn’s breath

Ideas to make things flow smoothly, hindsight for how to do it better next time and more stops than usual to rehydrate. Sweat! 11

Shoes fall off my feet
Flood of autumn sunlight calls
“Come outside and play!”

(Review, documentation, confirmation, cancellation. Time to take a break) 12

Autumn's liquid light
Spills over my balcony
I glow from within

(I actually have more energy and enthusiasm than I thought once I stop driving myself like an animal. Every light deserves to shine) 13

Gossiping raindrops
Start the rumors once again
“Winter’s on its way!’

(I wait for this first rain of the season with almost gleeful anticipation, laundry and grocery shopping done. Inside, warm; a glass of wine, a good book.) 14

Cloudy autumn dawn
Many possibilities
Will succeed or fail

Don’t know what’s up ahead, but I know the vague shape of things. I sculpt the mass before me and accept responsibility for the outcome with toe-scuffing reluctance 15

Fall-to-winter mind
Slowing down and giving thanks
Even when it hurts

Shadows of little irritations illuminated at just the right angle loom, obscuring the bigger, brighter more accurate picture 16

Cool overcast skies
String of green lights up head
Say, ‘Don’t give up, yet!”

Each moment on the verge of giving up, I’m met with some small miracle of affirmation that says, “Yes!” 17

Let them fall away
Art mislaid, forever lost
This year’s autumn leaves

I’ll call around to public transport I use but likely have lost my first ten or so collages. I get to recreate them, thank God the process is soothing.
The collages are dead! Long live the collages 18

first rains of autumn
heavy skies have opened up
everything comes down

Sluice gates open, everyone gulps and gasps like fish on land aching to wet their gills, everyone thirsty for something 19

freeway slick with rain
croons a hissing serenade
outside my window

today is my day to be seduced, giving in to my own passions; art, reflection, praxis 20

winter approaches
soups and stews in favor now
warm our wet, gray days

(My brother and I undertake a joint project that begins to bubble with the first light and has no foreseeable end although I hope this day ends with at least two new collages) 21

Golden cat's eye moon
Peering through black velvet sky
Nearly Halloween

(So much fun with preparing for Halloween, so much sadness 'farewell, Loui Wei', both emotions producing heartfelt hugs) 22

Crying her heart out
Grey Skies makes it very clear
This year’s all but done

Entrances, exits
Blue sky copper autumn’s pick
Passage to winter

(The day awakens bright and dry-eyed despite our mourning W’s death. Meanwhile I watch a video of my granddaughter as she kick her feet to the strumming of her uncle’s ukele) 23

Bright-eyed Autumn says,
“Everything’s turned gold and red!
How did that happen?”

(Halloween is the inner-child of fall. Snacked on gummy eyeballs and screamed for the destruction of one unsuspecting piñata) 24

“All the leaves are brown…”
I hum a tune from the past,
“…and the sky is grey.”
(On first look, I’m drained and listless, but a deeper probe finds that I’m, more and more, deeply satisfied…) 25

Sitting at my desk
Jack-o-lanterns to my left
Goblins to my right

(Headline: All night scary movies… score: little kid, one; teens nothing…whining little kids more horrifying than celluloid ghouls, teens flee the scene) 26

Back into the crypt
Hauntings coming to a halt
We regenerate
(Clean up what I can, go home, go to bed, hit it one more time tomorrow) 27

“Get over yourself!”
Laissez les bon temps roulez
Gede’s in the house!

Rara Tou Limen
Laissez les bon temps roulez
Get yo’ Gede on!
(Ghost stories provide relief...they keep real live horrors at a distance) 28

Jack-o-lanterns grin
I’m grateful, grateful, grateful
Autumn’s musky scent

(Waiting for payday, Mr. Jack-o-lantern is about to be Mr. Dinner, Ms. Dessert and Mademoiselle Hors D'oeuvres. Amen) 29

under overpass
zebras graze the concrete wall
Broadway safari

under overpass
zebras graze the concrete wall
safari mural

harvest time is come
politicians trawl for votes
constituents pray

(well there goes the shoe on the other foot…who cares, as long as I have feet. Maybe I’ll go barefoot) 30

Indian summer
plums artichokes and melons
We all eat our fill
(it feels good to share the extras; artichokes, melons, pumpkins. No one goes away hungry.) 31

Blueberry cream sky
stirred by drowsy autumn breeze
abandons excess

(I get snagged on the subtleties, the things that glimmer, seen only with peripheral vision, collect hugs from hidden stashes) 32

Learning to let go
Like the trees release fall’s leaves
I’m on my way home

(‘Megamind’, a nephew, a son and snacks at the Can’t Fail Café) 33

My kid sister’s face
Live! First time since far too long
This has made my day

(Sue’s home! With the usual ridiculously hilarious tales of nonsense…truth is funnier than fiction…especially with skilled embellishment) 34

the chill settles in
scattered reports of sniffles
I run a hot bath

(stay in, post pics on FB, hang pictures on wall, nest.) 35

Big round of applause;
cultural overlap means
ghosts can come for brunch

(spent the day with fond memories and essence ((my version, I guess)) of Indira.) 36

Sleepy autumn dusk
Inner clock is slowing down
Time to hibernate
(Drowsiness loves company…relieved to hear that I’m not the only one moving slowly today) 37

skies turn misty grey
winter’s drawing closer still
harvest’s end at hand
(Day starts with, almost literally, tons of food bank produce, ends with cold damp mist and children practicing for cabin fever) 38

Autumn slips away
Darkness drops by earlier
Winter’s closest friend
(Joseph is the pied piper of ball games…the kids are content and by extension so am I) 39

This double-edged sword
We celebrate and mourn where
Light and shadow meet
(I witness some strengthen in their resolve, some sink into the mire, all reaching out whether they know it or not) 40

Last bit of money
carefully counted to last
until the year ends
(Like lying on a bed of nails, figuring out budget, making deals to get what all we need, if not all that we want) 41

I let my guard down
Find warmth as autumn dwindles
Before winter’s cold
(My sons, their father, my father, my dance. Belly flutters give way to laundry) 42

Pumpkin and pork stew
East to west we foment change
Plotting from my den

(Synapses snap, crackle and pop as I exchange possibilities of future and change with some of my favorite people; thanks to technology all within a few feet of my beloved bed)

It’s not laziness
but basic animal urge;
stay near lair when cold
(once this sort of drowsy indoor -- mostly, but for a walk -- day would have been unconscionable; today, almost anything but this seems unconscionable) 43

Season of my birth
All the land prepares to rest
Full year’s harvest done
(Understanding what all I DON’T know, I stagger with the weight of this revelation…once again) 44

dusk comes sooner now
let we gather ‘round the hearth
sharing timeless tales
(This evening SteetSide Stories graduates, the kids shared their wonderful videos with family and friends; everyone was proud!) 45

Dusk comes early now
Colder and dark, Winter looms
Crowding out the light
(Everything seems so much more dramatic when carried out in the dark…kids playing ball, bus ride home…) 46

late fall teases us
by turns, a cold wind then warm breeze
summer-winter bridge
(twisted ankle, last ditch efforts at all sorts of transitions, a fitful nap and at midnite, the return of The Boy Who Lived!) 47

carefully chosen
string of words between raindrops
shows how much she cares

(‘Eat!’ Chung Hoa orders, handing me ramen; ‘You be…’ she blinks thoughtfully in the day’s meager sunlight, ‘…careful!’ She laughs at the effort it takes to catch slippery English words.) 48

haiku and collage
quick impression of a day
only just begun
(I’m still stalling with grief over losing the first set of collages, but as this shapes up the excitement is if only I can hold on to it) 49

passing autumn storm
gives me pause for gratitude
at home snug and warm
(I went nowhere and did nothing but nest …and, apparently, packed on a few pounds, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself) 50

a knock at the door
a bag full of juicy grapes
Thanksgiving is here
(an unexpected treat, laughter and flushed cheeks, camaraderie and welcome ease the load when funds and food run low) 51

Sharing favorite foods
At this time of giving thanks
Gather, safe and warm
(Momentum of carelessness does not stop the momentum of reflection and sharing; one show rolls into me while the other rolls on without me and I’m learning to be okay whatever the outcome…) 52

children come again
cozy in our special rooms
darkness left outside
(The time for board games and bead crafts, quiet murmuring and feeling safe and warm has returned) 53

More than plates piled high
time to spend with family
For this I give thanks
(Snuggling in the bosom of family is my lap of luxury…) 54

Tying up loose ends
What’s undone will have to wait
Year’s end slowing down

(I tell the kids “I’m not even here!” when they ask if I’m open today…They will entertain one another well enough, but there are things I just can’t leave to drift…) 55

It’s the day before!
Get it done despite the rain!
Soon I’m flying east!
(Waking excited that I’ll be seeing HER soon, I pop out of bed like a jack-in-the-box, early and bright; get lost in the gloom of compiling insurance /legal claims on this rainy day; venture out to drop things off as the sun reappears just before it’s setting…Where did the day go? Quicker still the night…) 56

Grandchild, here I come!
Soon I’ll kiss your chubby cheeks
Cooled by chilly breeze
( Okay, I’m in total emo overload. And loving it. What if she cries the first time she sees me? LOL, I guess now it’s my turn.) 57

Stroll through Prospect Park
Baby buggy crunches leaves
Maia snug within
(By turns the day is delightful then unbearable, beautiful, strange, hard passages with baby, family and insurance.) 58

Granddaughter and I
Gaze out at grey autumn skies
First day on our own

(Exhausted, disoriented, re-oriented…Maia Geneva is a child of bright and pure joy and raging despair; her little world begins and ends constantly. A new teacher) 59

Rain falls in clear sheets
Full belly is ecstasy
Empty tank is hell

(Maia got an immunization shot, soaked her sheets, laughed with open delight, turned bright red with outrage. She startles and smiles in sleep as if her dreams are at least as real to her as waking.) 60

hatching plans all day
At dusk, the streets with Maia
Late fall Brooklyn jaunt!

(Looking up shops for knitting supplies and plotting the shortest route, best experience – with a little help from Yelp! – then making a break for it with baby and that beast of a stroller…such fun…all dashed when I discover that I have to make my way to Penn Station tomorrow…way more adventure that I can handle) 61

I take the A Train
Heading for Penn Station now
Bundled for the cold

(Scared spitless, but determined…entertained by NY’ers hospitality and spunk, heading upstate to visit a dear friend) 62

This rural winter
Cold hammered skin like mallets
Chased us back indoors

(Walking down an unnamed dirt road in the unincorporated town of Wright – Jody says she rather live in the town of Wright than Wrong – the golden light is clear and beautiful, the cold air is kick-ass!) 63

No competition
Broadway play or day with kids
We stay warm indoors!

(Just hanging out with nowhere to go, nothing to do but stay warm, while the kids show baby off to a colleague) 64

Showing Genny off
Bundled up this frosty day
Walking 7th Ave

(We really get around, trotting up to Prospect Park, then over to the Pavilion Movie Theater, past a big old gymnasium-looking thing, on down 6th and finally back to the corner grocery…”Cute baby,” they say between comments in Chinese, “ Thank you; my granddaughter,” I answer. Miss Baby says nothing but sucks on her pacifier with a very serious look.) 65

We sing back and forth
While outside the last leaves fall
Granddaughter and I

(Genny loves sound and smiles brightly as I take the cooing up a notch into wordless song, she matches a few notes and seems calmer for the rest of the day.) 66

A third-floor walk-up
Downstairs neighbor softly coughs
On this frosty night

(Maia wept and thrashed all night. I was beside myself, not wanting to interrupt her parents’ efforts and experience at calming their new child ((not without their invitation!)). Stayed in my room til sunrise, tapping timidly at their bedroom door at dawn) 67

Genny grows so fast
Holds my cheek and laughs out loud
Warming winter’s chill

(I don’t know that anything can top the feeling of her hands on my cheeks as she gurgles with quite the purposeful look in her eye…I love her so much!) 68

Up three flights I find
Oh! I left your toy behind
Rush back into cold

(Aaargh! Bought Maia a new binky and myself a package of orange spice tea, got back home, glad to be out of the cold and voila, here’s the tea but…where’s the binkie?!!! Back to CVS after a nanosecond of hesitation. Girl at the counter raises the ‘prize’ and hands it over! Triumph!) 69

Midtown Manhattan
Park Slope meets 5th Avenue
Under mistletoe

Live from 30 Rock
Yellow Taxis zooming by
Chilling, NY style

(Nikki, Tatsu and I are thrilled by the baby’s engagement with bustling NY holiday energy, especially given her calm, earnest interest in everything going on! A Broadway play for me and exploration of Midtown Manhattan for the little family) 70

Dash for the airport
under overcast grey sky
Bye-bye Baby Girl

(A delicious last breakfast at Bar Toto with the family T. Yamato and off to the airport only to find the plane is delayed at least a couple of hours) 71

Chorus of brown leaves
Ends late autumn’s song now with
Notes of brown and gold

(First day back at Carter, the courtyard concrete hidden under a blanket of fallen leaves. Quiet. Things are winding down) 72

Neither rain nor wind
rather road-blocks change our plans
On this hectic night

(Training all-day and dash back to office for community presentation thwarted by roadblocks due to what we later find out is a fatal accident) 73

Unexpected grace
Seems at first unlucky loss
Faith again fine-tuned

(Horrified to find my Clipper card is missing ((just added value and half a month’s fare could be lost)) I’m humbled by the generosity and kindness of strangers and a mint-new acquaintance before I find the card under the driver’s seat of my car once I get home) 74

Fictions true to life
Layers peeled back onion-style
Never really end

(Working with the crew and cast of the movie-short Way Station, I reflect on past experiences and current realities in my life’s work) 75

Beginnings and ends
Loved one passed and new child born
On this rainy day

(I see WCL on her veranda weeping, drop whatever I was doing to rush over and find out what has brought this spunky lady to tears…her husband…dead! Just last week!…she is heartbroken and maybe a bit frightened. Opens her arms for a hug. How can we dare not love one another? And then V’s relating the story of how he’s just now become a grandfather…Emotional whiplash or cycle of life – which door will I choose?) 76

Christmas cheer takes work!
Down to San Jose and back
Carloads full of toys

(Working on a Saturday, LeMar and I both were so tired and cranky we nearly bit each other’s heads off at first, but then we had to laugh at ourselves. All the way down to Family Giving Tree we went to get our cars loaded with toys. Pulled it off without a hitch – so smoothly in fact that we were back about 15 minutes after we were due for pick up. Early birds with aching backs! Then we laugh because it’s over too fast.) 77

I’m an artichoke
My clothes, succulent leaves to
Keep out winter’s chill

(BART transbay tunnel drama. Ugh! Sorting kids gifts for tomorrow. Then, more tube drama on the way home. UGH!!!) 78

Eclipse meets solstice
Round the world we watched, live-stream
nature caught by ‘net

(Despite rains, I watched much of the happening of a lifetime by live-stream, comments and chatter exchanged with viewers around the world. A brief break in clouds allowed me a gander with my own eyes…it was beautiful, awe-inspiring and undeniably creepy. Without ‘science’ to explain things, I’d probably be out trying to figure out what I should sacrifice to Whom in order to avoid…(ahem) ‘penalties’. LOL!) 79

Community fun
Winter’s start, we gather ‘round
Laughs and sharing warmth

(Community social and getting closer with bawdy teasing and clever plans to get ahead) 80

Winter’s foggy breath
Clouds my windows as I drive
Eager to be home

(I indulge myself and like it! Wholefoods, once a year, one bag of groceries and $120 lighter) 81

Tossed into the wind
Christmas boomeranged right back
Stocking’s twice as full

(With little time ((to shop, put up a tree or trimming)) and less money, I decided to spend what I would have spent on ‘the fixin’s’ on people I cared about, maybe struggling or simply ‘dear acquaintances’. Unexpectedly, I got more than I gave. Some from the thrill of stumbling on the right thing, not worrying about going through the standard motions. some from what seemed like out of the blue. What a release, relief and wonderful, scary thing.) 82

Today's Pajama Day
even for an errand run
lazy Christmas Eve

(So nice to not have to do anything but what I want when i want and manage to do it even though I'm tired as hell. Pickups? check. Drop offs? Check. Laundry? Done and so am I) 83

Rainy Christmas Day
Crowds around theater screens
Fire-side tales evolved

(True Grit sold out so we went for Narnia: Dawntreader. Elsewhere, everything shut down for the holiday. 'All was calm, all was bright.' Sweet snippets of time with family members around town and cross-country) 84

I know what I want
Perseverance means success
Rains can’t stop me now

(I go with shopping list in hand and still can’t get what I want first try. Second try, I succeed with creative substitutes when I can’t find exactly what I had in mind. Flexibility rules!) 85

Wee Willy Winky
Walks to Trader Joe's and back
Through this dark night's rain

(Stuck in overdrive, physical therapist recommends walking and I can't stop. A bread run becomes a manic marathon!) 86

Rain pours down nonstop
I count pennies, nickles, dimes
Closing year's accounts

(Feeling better oriented financially, which is unexpectedly refreshing) 87

Umbrella in hand
Open to what this day brings
Winter, rain or shine

(A general plan for the day, sunny and cold at it's worst, ends early to use floating holidays on the verge of being lost. Next, new shoes, new gloves, new books as I move through multilingual throngs in Union Square) 88

Winter has its charm
Shelter indoors, keeping warm
Spin fantastic yarns

(Stories banging around in my head, wanting to grow, be told, or at least written down. Saw True Grit and the urge to make more stories of my own got stronger) 89

Last day of the year
Count the minutes ticking by
Shed the old year’s skin

(Flowers, gift purchases, procastinated for hours on the computer til finally an hour and a half is all that’s left of 2010) 90

12/31/10* ...out of order :(
How could I forget?
one more haiku for the wall
Last day of the year

(I forgot to post my last haiku and wrote another spontaneously to post. Friday, I did little more than slug around in my pj’s and loved it! 91

one, one, eleven
binary date starts the year!
yes, I am a geek

(Well Ahmad doesn’t think so. I felt guilty, but not enough to break my reclusive spell. Hibernating and loving it. New Year’s wishes from all around) 92

Start the year off right
Get the bills cleared, setting dates
As we head toward spring

(If ass-dragging gave you rug burns, I’d be in a world of hurt, but I still managed to get a lot done in a slow-motion way. Felt victorious when I rousted myself out to pay the rent and storage bill) 93

Stuffy head and nose
not enough to spoil my day
Sharing with dear friends

(Head-colds suck. This one is mild as they go, but it won’t be gone fast enough. Diana is being recommended for ‘gifted’ kids program. Made her smile big. Louis explained to her that the letter and forms her teacher gave her to have completed was for people who were either really smart or really dumb! LOL…) 94

Short late-winter day
Evening shadows rise too soon
Wasn’t it just noon?

((the sun seemed to rise and fall like the kids’ bounced ball. the boys came in, snacked a bit, chuckled among themselves, played Lego’s while I plotted out the year)) 95

Day 316

Sun breaks through the fog
Confusion is laid to rest
Clear paths everywhere

Day 315

exhausted but happy
art and magic intertwine

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 314

blessed are the plants
thirsty eyes drink in the green
balance amid rush

Day 313

Early, top of day
I can see what lies ahead
set my course and go

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 312

Early, top of day
I can see what lies ahead
set my course and go

Day 311

time as waterfall
rushes by, everything blurred
life gains momentum

Day 310 (Firefly series)

Oshun and Ogun
sweet honey meets righteous sword
beauty tempers might

Sunday, November 6, 2011

10/18/11 - 11/5/11

Note: On October 8, I actually reached the one year mark or 366th haiku of my project. Meeting that mark was a wonderful moment. What matters most to me is the continuity of memory that this nurtured and documents. While I don't get to post here every day, daily haikus are as much a part of my life as eating, sleeping, work and every bit as necessary.

Also unanticipated gifts of presence: Thank you to all of you who've supported me with comments, check-ins and more. The hard part is over. Now I get to play :) (!) I've been pretty careful if not downright timid about posting photos/thoughts etc. Nothing fancy anytime soon, but since I've not imploded yet, I'll likely explore other modes of expression via blogging...HOOOORAAAAAY!

dust has settled, sky is clear
breathe deep and give thanks

hump day, at the crest
pray momentum takes the rest
let's enjoy the ride

walk along the ledge
while you're there, enjoy the view
clear perspective wins

as some things wind down
others can begin renewed

compassion I would welcome
always mine to give

Even as I age
Taking body to top speed
Dance 'til hearts content

Working like a dog
So forgive me when I bark
Nothing personal

Yoga kicked my butt
Thought I'd cry, throw up or fart
Bad-ass, stuck it out

Finally, autumn!
Neighbors gather, making plans
Lamp light warms twilight

well-rooted and strong
well-fed by this dark rich soil
present draws on past

facing my limits
standing at white waters edge
loon lends me her wings

world maintains its spin
why resist ancient wisdoms?
leaves turn red and gold

Goddess of the Winds
Oya, Yansa, Ancestors
inform every move

old growth feeds the new
food for thought to be absorbed
past, present, future

Harvesting my due
Existence is generous
Unexpected gain

pleasure's flip-side, pain
interwoven, these two mark
highs and lows today

'with a chance of rain'
gray skies whisper chills through cracks
winter heads our way

sun beams 'tween raindrops
oh! if I could just sleep in
truths realized in dreams

Study the body
owners manual for Life
things fall into place