A January Haiga

Poetry, Walking

This year, no route march.

Instead I’ll wander, breathe, gaze …

Enjoy the moment.

I should explain. For some time now, I’ve joined in Rebecca of Fake Flamenco’s monthly poetry challenge. It’s a challenge indeed, especially for strict amateurs like me, because every month she invites us to try a different poetic form on the announced theme. This month, it’s a haiga. It’s new to me, and perhaps to you. Here’s what Aha Poetry says: ‘Haiga is a Japanese concept for simple pictures combined with poetry, usually meaning haiku‘.

So what you see above is my first effort, on Rebecca’s chosen theme of time, personal development and change. Many of you know that last year I challenged myself to walk every day, and get the miles in – 1500 miles to be exact. It was fun, and helped keep me fit. This year though, I don’t want to do it again. I still want to walk every day (said she, looking out at a grey and rain-sodden garden). But instead of getting my head down and pounding the tracks and pathways, I want to slow my pace and savour the moment: take pleasure in discovering the new in views that have perhaps become over-familiar in these all-but lockdown days.

53 thoughts on “A January Haiga

  1. I think you make a very good point about slowing down and appreciating what’s around you. Personally I get bored very quickly if walking just to clock up the daily steps, but if I take my camera I find I automatically slow down, looking for photo opps. Then I wonder if I’ve walked fast enough for it to count as healthy exercise, forgetting sometimes that it has been so good for my MENTAL health!

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    1. Exactly. I think one way or another, active types like we seem to be do get enough exercise in the daily round. I also agree that looking for that interesting shot slows you down too. In my case however, I find there’s a qualitative difference between appreciating something for its photogenic qualities, and just plain appreciating it. I’m planning to leave my camera/phone at home rather more often.

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      1. Hmm, I sort of know what you mean, but I find if I’m looking for photos I look more carefully. Also, I get so frustrated if I see a great photo and am unable to shoot it! I have to at least carry the phone 😉 Besides, if I’m to fulfil my Blipfoto 365 challenge I will have to carry it!

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  2. A poetry challenge would hard for me, but sounds interesting. And one year, not the whole year, but between Thanksgiving and year end, some friends and I vowed to walk at least one mile every day, which I did. It definitely helped me keep the holiday weight off. OH…and one year 365 days, I did a challenge where I got took a walk every day, no specific distance, and took a picture to post. That was fun, but a huge responsibility, so I can understand you not wanting to do it again right away!

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    1. It does feel different this time. I’ll certainly walk every day, but without the need to get the miles in. It’ll be about enjoying my surroundings – even if it’s pouring! The taking a picture idea sounds a good one.

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  3. A challenge I can totally agree with – and the ideal contrast for you after last year’s mileage. Haigu is new to me. I love the concept and your offering is beautiful 😊

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  4. I like your new year’s resolution. Thanks for your post and poem that alerted me to the monthly poetry challenge. I joined in this month.

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  5. I’m taking inspiration from you, Margaret. Your verse is as lovely as your photo.
    Would you mind if I join you in the poetry challenge? I look at some of the daily ones but as someone who knows nothing about the different poetic forms, I find the daily format, well, too challenging.

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    1. Of course I don’t mind, and I know Rebecca would be delighted. She’s hoping for contributions by the 9th, which could be a challenge in itself at this stage, but I doubt if there are bad consequences from being late! I love it that she translates our efforts into Spanish. That feels quite special. I find once a month about right, not being a natural poet, and there’s always something to think about. Yes, please come and keep me company!

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  6. I really like your poem and its sentiments and it pairs very well with the photo with the lucky sighting of such ephemeral rays of light. I hope that your adjusted approach to walking will lead to many more such moments and sightings to savour – with or without your camera (though of course we would appreciate you taking the camera along to capture some of those sights 🙂)

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  7. Yes, new to me too. I think you’ve achieved a successful result. I was wondering whether you started with selecting words or image first? Or, whether it sort of arrived as a pair for an initial idea?

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