Archive for April, 2008

Wedding haibun – prelim

April 24, 2008

Just some general thoughts, and a couple (?!) of vaguely relevant photos.

I think the haibun is going to be written as some sort of gift to my husband. We’ve been married for nearly 14 years – I was lucky to meet my soulmate when we were both so young.

All sorts of little things kept flitting through my head during the ginko on Sunday. Including one thing that I’m almost ashamed to admit – I lost my wedding ring. Twice, actually. Both times it was while I was doing something with the chooks, and both times Stewart found the ring again within a week or so. I turned the place upside down looking for it, but obviously the universe considers it my job to lose the ring and his to find it.

It’s bizarre how naked I felt without it. Makes me realise how often I touch it during the course of a day. So naturally I was feeling quite paranoid about it on the weekend – walking along on a cold morning, through trees and over the stream. I kept my hand in a variation of prithvi mudra, with my ring finger pressed against the pad of my thumb.

After I lost it, this second time, I got the beginnings of a poem in my head. The beginning lines are the second time I lost my wedding ring … From there it becomes a bit of a meditation on marriage, and the whole notion of “til death do us part”. Given that it wants to be discursive, a haibun seems like the perfect place for it to grow. I can use the haiku as counterpoints to the prose text, bringing little moments of particularity into focus. Little spotlights. Little searchlights.

  • Like the co-incidence of the first frost for the year and crossing the bridge where I’d stood in my wedding dress.
  • The cold air.
  • The heavy dew on the railing of the bridge, and the sound my wedding ring made, bumping against the wood, when I ran my hands along it.
  • That dying ornamental maple, with leaves that looked like curled hands.
  • The quiet.
  • The solitude, except I never feel lonely in the bush, or anywhere with trees and water and deep shadows.
  • Going bushwalking in the Blue Mountains with Stewart, in the days before we were officially a couple.
  • Sitting on the verandah, leaning against the pillar with the sun in my eyes.
  • Trying to work out what bird it was that I could hear.

Hmm …


Haiku Aotearoa 2008

April 22, 2008

A good – if stressful – weekend at Haiku Aotearoa 2008. My “Introduction to Haibun” workshop seemed to go well. Quite a few people came up to me afterwards saying that it had really fired their enthusiasm, and that they had lots of ideas for new pieces. (If any of you are reading this, I look forward to seeing them!) Details of the whole shindig can be found on my other blog.

On the Sunday morning we had a ginko – no, not the herb. A haiku walk, wandering in the grounds of Canterbury University for an hour and a half, jotting down notes of what we’d seen or heard or felt (or smelled), with the aim of later using those notes to create haiku. I hadn’t expected to be particularly inspired, but I came back with pages of notes. I think everyone there came up with at least one first-draft haiku. And I have an idea for another haibun.

Our ginko took place in the grounds of a lovely old homestead, Ilam House. It just so happens to be where we had our wedding reception. Lots of memories. The ginko took place four months earlier in the year, so the plants are/were different. It was the end of the blossom time then; now we’re in early leaf-change. But the bridge over the Okeover stream looks exactly the same, and the grand sweep of lawn up to the house. The red chair that we all sprawled on, laughing our heads off, isn’t on the verandah any more. Plenty of change. Plenty of same.

It was the morning of the first frost for the year. Not too hard a frost – enough to shrivel but not kill my tomatoes at home. Certainly the grass had all thawed by the time we were walking through there. Somehow there seems to be a symmetry between the first frost and returning to the place where I stood in my big white dress.

Yes, I think there’s a haibun in here. Maybe even using the draft haiku that I produced from the ginko:

sun in my face –
the bird I can’t identify
falls silent …