I like goals, projects, ideas with rules. Writing is something I like to do, in fits and starts, mostly bad but almost always enjoyable. So last year, around November of 2015, I started tweeting haiku*. I had no real plan, no specific goal in mind. It was just an idea that bounced around in my brain until I finally took action. They are irreverent unscripted tweets, bits of my world confined by the 5-7-5 syllabic structure, a most simple and uncomplicated poem style.
*Fun fact: The plural of “haiku” is “haiku”.
In the straightforward restricted form of a haiku, however, I found that the width and breadth, the enormity of an idea or mood that can be expressed, is surprisingly vast. As in a lot of things, it’s the actual boundaries that set you free. Freedom is an interesting term or definition to explore, and sometimes doesn’t mean entirely what we think it does.
(I just realized, there is a typo on the cover. This weighs heavily on my ever-proofing brain. I proofed the copy at least five times! The cover slipped by covert-style. Eeh gads – not ideal.)
So I tweeted, several times a week but not everyday. The reminder to tweet a haiku usually set in around 10 or 11am on a work day at the office. Morning coffee almost cashed, impending work hovering around the edges of my day, it felt like a good time to set to Twitter and type out a few, sometimes rhyming and sometimes flabbily formed, little ditties.
They are often nonsensical, and sometimes communicate my overall mood for the moment. But I didn’t do it for you, or anyone else. I just did it for me. So they didn’t have to be perfect or well-done or even interesting, they just had to be. I tried not to wish-wash on the details, or spend too long crafting them. It was the process, not the product, I was in search of.
I created a little booklet of my year of haiku, from November 2015 to December 2016, self-published it using an online service, and gave out just a few hard copies to family members and friends for Christmas gifts. As is usually the case, I want to be able to show people things I make, but feeling the content or item is sub-par, almost always pull back the reigns and keep it to myself.
Since hardly anyone reads my blog, I feel fairly safe in posting the digital version here. A quiet way to be brave. If you care to delve in, you may. Just download it here: Haiku by Shrie L. Spangler.