books · joy · On Writing

The Journey Back

The roads may have changed

Paths choked, obscured, overgrown

Once known, never lost

Keep going.

It was an elegant haiku. I finished typing, admired the way that it fit the photograph I took with a view across an inlet.

Then I came to the next part, the part where I comment, elaborate, expand upon the idea.

I had nothing.

It was worse than blank. I checked the tiny bits of paper where I jotted down possible lines of verse, syllables counted and circled at the end of each line.

There was nothing.

The next thing I knew, I had gone up to the elegant haiku. I added a line. I ruined it — and made it sing to me.

Now my piece is not a traditional haiku — not that many ever have been. The only rule I follow is the 5 syllable/7 syllable/5 syllable form — the subject, the expression, the emotion expressed are all my own. There are other rules, important precepts to follow if you are being strict about your haiku, but I cannot, will not do that.

What prompted this piece was thinking about how I came back to daily writing and deep reading after many long years away doing new product development, marketing, and research.

I was sitting beside a dark blue lake, scrawled a note, read a few lines. That was all it took to begin a path filled with twisting trails, confounding silences, and exhilarating sprints.

I keep on going no matter what.

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