Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Old Friends

Monday, October 12, 2009

Old Friends

changing seasons

old friends consider
another morning, same says
one, the other nods...

I've been writing haiku since summer, for the first time in years (and years?). I wrote one for a challenge in Life is a Verb and it hit a nerve. I wrote a few more after completing the exercise and then a few more and the floodgates opened. I've been scribbling them in church (after the sermon of course), at traffic lights, the grocery store, in meditation and prayer for friends whose deep, troubling needs fill me with anguish.
So neat, so compact, like an ATC, a small collage, a photograph... an entire story conveyed in a glance. Or, in 17 syllables. Probably for the same reason that, when I wrote fiction, I focused on the short story. Not because it's easier; anyone familiar with the mechanics of a good short story knows that it has to do the job of an entire novel in a fraction of the space.
In my teens and early twenties I spent a great deal of time writing poetry and it was deeply meaningful as self-care; however, I must admit, it was quelled by my longing is to read a good poem. Now, every morning I scan my inbox for an email from
Joe Riley, who under the Yahoo group name Panhala, pairs an amazing photograph with an equally compelling poem. Ahh, Joe, where were you twenty-some years ago?!
I do appreciate the fact that I created this collage using one of my photographs and a haiku I wrote, so I'm satisfied with what feels like an integrated expression.

In early days the challenge was to fit words that sounded good together into 3 short lines; now my goal is deeper. It's an attempt to phrase an emotion, maybe even cause a reader to stop and consider. Two old chairs that, upon closer inspection reveal coats of paint too numerous to count. A metaphor for the most sacred kind of friendship, one that endures an equal number of changing seasons, cycles of sun and snow, witnessing the passage of joys and sorrow, life stages and journeys that are not always predictable and never the same but weathered with the peace of kindred spirit. And, often without the need to speak.

Technical note: This haiku doesn't include a seasonal reference so I suppose it's not technically correct, but I did include the kireji, (no translation in English) the dash, or ellipsis placed at the end designed to bring the reader back to the beginning, forming a complete circle. Asleep yet?


Debrina said...

Ahh've done it again. I love this post. Your reflections always result in such lovely work. Both the haiku and the artwork are teriffic and what you have written in this post will no doubt chime another bell in my subconscious.

Patti said...

To anyone kind enough to read and respond to this post, I'd love it if you'd visit Debrina's blog. She is a fabulous artist and blogger and was kind enough to feature one of my pieces in her most recent post - the kind of thing that makes all this even more worthwhile.
Thanks Mistress Deb!

Karin Bartimole said...

I love your comparison of haiku to an ATC - that is perfect! the whole essence captured.
Your pairing of words, images, and artistic techniques convey well the message you describe of time and seasons passing; friends side by side sharing experiences, parting, coming together, resting to reflect...
I feel such gratitude for how the creative spirit adapts, and finds ways for exploring what needs exploration, and then expresses, what ever our limitations. I know it sometimes feels like i have to scale back, from short story to haiku, but perhaps it's more like having made eau de toilette to creating perfume :)
Deb's post is a lovely tribute to you!

La Dolce Vita said...

I agree with Karin, love your comparison of the Haiku with an atc, and love both your piece and the haiku! both work so well together, makes me think of friends that I can sit and chat with and long for warmer days again! xo cat

Walk in the Woods said...

So lovely ... the image, the words and the intention ...

Anonymous said...

Everything about this is completely beautiful.

winnsangels said...

lovely haiku - words & image

Elizabeth Golden said...

I love these chairs! And what you have done in this collage is fabulous.
Take the digital class or just get a book and play. That is what I do. There all sorts of tutorials on line - free. You are so talented it won't take you very long to pick up all the little tricks.


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