And so I come to the end of one challenge,and the start of a new one. I feel I ought to write something momentous, in honor of today being the both last day of January and the “river of stones” challenge. But to be perfectly honest, it was a perfectly ordinary kind of day, with no new smells, sights, or sounds of note to record. It didn’t rain, but there was no sun to speak of, either. It wasn’t exactly warm, but it wasn’t terribly cold. The birds sang as usual, I spoke to other dog walkers on our morning mosey, and I looked in vain for signs of leaves on every deciduous tree I passed. Yup, a perfectly ordinary day.
In 2011, I started entering a non-kukai haiku contests once in a while. Most contests have a nominal fee ($1 per haiku), while others are free. The way I look at it is this. I have little to lose, and a lot to gain. When a judge who has been reading (and writing) haiku for a long time sees something of merit in what I write, it not only validates me as a writer, but it helps me discern which pieces I write have a more universal appeal. When I submitted my first tanka to the 2011 San Francisco International Competion for Haiku, Tanka, Senryu, and Rengay, I didn’t expect much, so I was thrilled to have it take 2nd place, among other poets whose work I admire. I wrote it about my daughter and me, when I visited her this past October, but after reading the commentary, realized that it could about any two people.
our favorite walk
by the river–
deep in conversation
the same old ground
Dear Sunshine, I want you.I need you. What can I say? I know you want your space, and I am trying hard not to pressure you, but really, can’t you do better than these rare visits that only leave me wanting more? Is it a cliché to say that without you, my days seem grey and cheerless? Here’s hoping that you will soon be back to stay. Devotedly yours, Me.
I am just about to go out the gate, when I catch the scent of a something lovely, and turn to see that the Sarcococca ruscifolia is in bloom. Suddenly I forget all about the saturated ground, the sodden piles of last year’s leaves, and even the storm clouds pending. Spring is just around the corner– I know it is.
I stay on the treadmill long after I’ve lost interest, walk carefully around the puddles in the parking lot, when what I really long to do is splash my way through them, and resist the temptation to polish off the rest of the bag of cashews. Why did I ever think being an adult was all about freedom?