September 2018 Haibun, Santa Cruz

IMG_4125I recently spent time at a mindfulness retreat in the Santa Cruz, California redwoods. I re-read Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Basho on the plane ride there, as inspiration for the following short haibun:

traveling solo
offers strength, restoration,
silence, bravery

It smells like I’m camping, with the smoky fire pits and fragrant trees. It brings fall into my heart, even though there still may be one final warm spell when I return home.

two seasons collide
a smoky, warm fireplace, and
sweet honeysuckle

By 11:00 am, I had completed a yoga class, a Qigong class, and a nature hike. I felt alive, alert, and loose.

shoulders fall, loosen
retreating from daily life
mind and body heal

qigong’s fire, earth, wood
body lengthened, awakened
metal and water

After a lovely three-hour reading session, I retreated for the evening to then hear an abundance of crickets – the most I had heard in some time. I walked to the balcony and recorded their music on my phone. Maybe I’ll use it to lull me to sleep upon my return.

bright and crackling fires
crickets repeat their welcome
erase warm summer

I need to remember to cook with a variety of ingredients. The food is local and organic and so very creative. I felt healthy and peaceful sitting outside enjoying breakfast.

rays peer through redwoods
birds sing good morning wishes
beneath verdant gold

 

Writing and image by Jennifer Fifield

See Books and Breezes webpage: September 2018 Haibun.

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20: determination

I’ve got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?Tennessee Williams

More from Goodreads: When he was 21, Tennessee Williams (born March 26, 1911) was a struggling writer with a job he hated at the International Shoe Company. Determined to succeed, he wrote a story every single weekend for three years.

Full Blog Series: The Joyful Path

Let’s do this

photo-1428677361686-f9d23be145c9This was the last time, he promised.

This had to be the absolute last time. He would land this one and this would be it. He just needed to get through it one more time. And it would be the very last time. Ever.

The excitement of this thought pulsed through him. He had to make this one count.

He realized that his shoulders were sky-high, so he dropped them, and took in a deep breath – the diaphragmatic kind. The kind they say you should do when you are flipping the fuck out.

He clicked the back button of his iPod to find what he needed. The initial melody always made him think he had picked the wrong song. But when the piano ended, the words he needed were right there.

This time would be different. It would be exciting. It would nourish him. He would try harder. He would remember the others. He would remember the struggle.

The lyrics began to seep deep inside of him, Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment, would you capture it, or just let it slip?

He pushed “up” on the volume button so that he could belt the words. So that he could slip into his state of readiness.

There was no way he was not getting this. This was all his.

He screamed, You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go, you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime.

As he approached, he bellowed the last – and his favorite – part, Success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not.

Let’s do this.

 

 

By Jennifer A. Fifield

Italicized song lyrics by Eminem, Lose Yourself

Image: Unsplash 

May Motivations: XVIII

photo-1428908728789-d2de25dbd4e2You do not even have to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. – Franz Kafka

 

See full list of quotes on Writing Inspirations

Image: Unsplash