Haiku is essentially a recognition of the miracle of existence and our gift is to report in words anything that can help another person feel this too.
~ Tom Clausen
According to poet Tom Clausen: “Haiku contain as subjects nearly everything! Nothing is too big or small to be included.” The entirety of existence is available for our focused attention, our delight, and celebration.
In a lengthy list titled “Why Haiku?” Tom includes the following: “to show the ‘aha’ moment and suggest the wonder of existence; to exercise a spiritual communion with our place in this world; to have an epiphany; to give a voice to nature and discovery; to celebrate our connection to nature and all that is non-human; to praise the life in the inanimate…” and much, much more. We see that haiku can indeed be a grand celebration — a profound honoring of the great fullness of life and the gift of helping others to feel that too.
In a brief description of haiku, Br. David Steindl-Rast writes, “The best among them capture a moment of intense awareness; they awake your senses. No comment by the poet; simply one given moment which is fully – and thus gratefully – perceived.” And of peak experiences, out of which haiku are often born, Br. David says, “Not only is our intellect aroused by its truth, and our will by its goodness, but our emotions respond to its beauty. And what do the emotions say? ‘Let’s celebrate!’”
Today we invite you to welcome a celebratory spirit into your day and allow it to influence how you see the world and how you will craft your haiku. Remember, nothing is too big or too small to be included and fully — thus gratefully — perceived. Experiment with writing a haiku that expresses your experience of expansiveness, appreciation, and celebration. Feel free to share any reflections and/or your poem in the reflection area below.
Enjoy the full eight-day Exploring Haiku practice.