A little over a month ago, I started to write again. I’ve always loved poetry, especially haiku. In high school I won scholarships to art school with my writing, and my love of fiber and sculptural work took over my time and hands. But, in times of stress, I would find myself using haiku as a way of condensing a moment, pushing me into a broader world outside myself and out of my internal meanderings.
I read that we should document these times of living with COVID, for historians and beyond our own children. I’m a Mom who has a 9 year old I need to be 7 teachers for most of the day, a job, my husband has new challenges in his job…..really everything about being a parent right now is a bit crushing. I missed using my hands. The first month of home “school” I would crash at night. I need my hands to move to feel myself in a spiritual sense. It felt like losing my hands , they lost their memory.
The first haiku came from just sitting. Just sitting and not doing anything for anyone else felt like a vacation, and I was listening to the dryer:
listening to the dryer
go round, and round and…
The movement of my hand with a pencil felt great. The next day came another, then another.
Traditional haiku references nature and specifics to the season, drawing out a view of the inner self by being reflective upon a moment. I think of the crisis of COVID19 as a temporary season itself. I found a small notebook and set some limitations to begin writing a poem a day. I find limitations in mediums to be freeing. You have to work against them to express your idea and that can lead to greater creativity. In my fiber based sculpture work, I take a material and study it until its form speaks to me. If I can’t make as much with my hands, I still have my mind and can use my hands to write.
I further set my limitations to writing about my garden and its changes, objects within my house and living with a young child. It’s a way of utilizing the limitation to bring a sense of control and inner calm to my little sphere at the moment. With this intense focus, and using my hand to write out the poems, edit, erase and be off the computer, has been freeing. All are posted to Instagram @rsiemering daily with a short explanation of the origin of the moment.
Here are a few of my favorites: