No Haiku for You?
became no haiku for me
the day words stopped
Just over 2 years ago I started putting words and syllables together into what I generously titled, Haiku.
A little bit after that I started writing short essays on what brought those words and syllables together.
It all just happened.
I would see words, or read something or look at the floor or the sky and the haiku fell out of my brain.
About a month ago they stopped.
From what I read, I have hit a writers block.
So begins the introspection.
Why did they stop?
I have a new job that on the surface is the same job I used to have, working with online content, it has a big difference.
Today however I am called on supply a lot more the creative side of the content instead of just putting it online.
The old job had become kind of rote.
We put stories online.
After 20 years I could tell you what the stories would be before they were written.
I would joke with reporters, “Is it time for the bad cherry crop in Traverse City story already?” or “Time for the gold coin in the red bucket story.”
News Directors would say in meetings, “You know what made a good story this time of year in the past …”
And out would come the “No snowplows in Atlanta” story or the “Watch out for big waves on the Pier” story.
The cycle rarely changed and when it did we called it “Breaking News.”
Now I am not only responsible for getting the stories online, I am responsible for writing them, finding the photos, taking the photos, and getting them online.
Maybe my creative needs have found another outlet.
That is a possible reason.
Another is that recently I broke the 4th Wall and thought about my audience way too much.
I started to look at the keyboard and imagine someone reading what I wrote as I wrote it.
It was like I imagined myself in front of everyone.
Sure death for creativity.
As a side note, I remember how back at Crestview Elementary School we had to learn a song each spring and then have a parents event where all the classes sand their songs.
When I think my parents, with 11 kids, went through this yearly ritual from 1950 to 1980, I think of other forms of cruel and unusual punishment.
One year, I think in 3rd grade, I found out that if I rocked on my heels and locked at my toes, it wasn’t so bad to be up in front of all the parents.
Even though later in the evening one Dad said to me, “You’re the kid who never looked up,” I felt I had discovered a great work around to being up in front of people.
The next year, in 4th grade, during rehearsal in the school gym, I couldn’t wait to try it again,
All the classes were in the Gym for an assembly and took turns singing their class songs.
My class lined up on the steps to the stage in the Gym.
We started to sing.
I rocked back on my heels and looked at my toes.
This time I rocked back with a little too much enthusiasm and went right over on my back.
I was in the front row and like dominos or maybe bowling pins, I knocked down all the kids behind me.
With my ‘reputation’ the teachers and the Principal had no time for my explanation for my theory and I was banished to the hallway for the rest of the rehearsal with dire warnings of what would happen if I tried that during the performance.
This experience gave me great incite to the trials and tribulations of explorers and scientists in their efforts to garner support for new ideas.
I felt a kinship to Thomas Edison.
But I digress.
Some folks have noticed my lack of production and attributed it to the disappearance of Mr. Trump from the national stage.
I freely admit Mr. Trump’s antics were responsible for much creativity.
Maybe he just exhausted me and I need to recharge.
Maybe it I am experiencing a general exhaustion with Covid and elections and global climate change.
I also relocated from Atlanta to a small coastal town in South Caroline.
My wife has noticed the slow life of the low country.
Maybe its just the lack of stimulation.
Or maybe it is too much stimulation.
I also have been working from home and not driving to work.
Much of my thinking and mental puttering around was in the car during my endless commutes in Atlanta.
That I was off in Haiku land and not paying attention to the drive should come as a surprise to no one.
But I starting working from home a year ago due to covid and that didn’t stop my outputbut then I did have the election and the orange guy for inspiration.
Maybe it is because I started reading Fran Leibowitz’s writing and watching her show, “Pretend its a city.”
She famously has suffered from writers block for decades.
Ms. Leibowitz writes that her editor says, “that the paralysis I have about writing is caused by an excessive reverence for the written word, and I think that’s probably true.”
In searching for use in my Haiku the outstanding in the use of language, maybe I too, came to a paralysis about writing, caused by an excessive reverence for the written word.
Maybe I live too close to the beach.
Maybe I just wore out.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.
As I love to quote Frank Lloyd Wright, “Well, there it is.”
I will continue to read.
I will continue to think.
I will continue to ponder.
And when I feel it, I will contine to write.
Until then, No Haiku … for me.