Saturday, July 31, 2010

which continues

I got two batches of haiku off by email this week. Just making the reading period for one magazine, smack in the middle of the reading period for another. I said to Kent, “OK. I’ve set myself up for disappointment.”

I don’t think I’m a great haiku poet. I think I’m better with wild, twisting sentences that gulp at the world and battle with their insides. But haiku has been good for me as a practice this spring/summer. Whenever I have trouble writing one I remind myself that it’s only about the present moment, the here & now. If my brain won’t break into blossom, I just have to look out at the world’s existing blossoms, even if they happen merely to be a pile of socks or the cracks in paint. I put down a few words. A few words is all a haiku can consist of. They’re never terrible. At worst, they’re just blah. Just a note about my environs, maybe my emotion of the moment, maybe the writing.

“Thousand” is a practice. The haiku and “Thousand” help keep me steady, I think, help distract me from difficult things that are going on right now. Maybe they help me deal with them. I’m not sure. I think they do. When I consider not doing them, it makes me nervous. They’ve become a structure for me, and, of course, I end up with something, a created thing, art, which continues.

5 comments:

David Lee said...

In times of chaos and stress I really appreciate the structures in my life, the projects that I'm working on. And when I'm not making progress on them it adds to the stress.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I'm trying not think of "progress" in "Thousand" and the daily haiku, any more than one thinks of progress in meditation or tooth brushing, which is to say one can think of progress in those things but I try not to, try, rather, to think of them as one of the things to do today, not so big as to be daunting even when I'm not feeling good, but not nothing. Naturally, because there's an end-goal for "Thousand", progress is something I can't help considering, whatever I "try." And, being as I just made an attempt to get the haiku published, progress blah blah blah. Well. It's another day -- things to do! Progress, digress, congress, wheatgress.

David Lee said...

Oh good god. One should never think of progress at the beginning of a project. That will make you miserable. In the beginning one simply develops a habit. One hundred words a day. An hour of inking. A post a day. Once the habit is established one can see what progress has made.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

A good attitude. Maybe that's why I so rarely attempt (& when I do -- seldom finish) long projects; I have a bad attitude. I keep checking to see how far there is to go!

David Lee said...

I don't know that it's a bad attitude. It's hard not to check progress. That's probably why I break my projects down into so many subcategories - sketch, final pencils, inking, photoshopping, posting and anything in between - so that I can note that I've done something even when my goal seems as distant as ever. I have all kinds of ways of tricking myself to keep working on long projects.