Each morning, I step out onto the back deck to greet the day. Take a few minutes to get the news— whether the first plum blossom has appeared (not yet), what the sky tells of today’s weather (sunny), was there a light rain during the night (alas, no). Today I noticed a patterned slimy trail on the deck. Never have seen a snail there, but apparently, there was some partying going on last night. (Or were they slugs?) At any rate, a refreshing change of view as to what constitutes “news” and much more palatable than the newspaper's daily horrors.
Back in college, I once saw a small art film showing the coming of dusk in a forest. Slow images panning over the landscape with the sounds of evening birds and gurgling creeks and such. It went on for five minutes or so, nothing dramatic happening, but the actual pace of most of life, small movements and little changes. My nervous system adapted to the soothing tempo, like the stately grandeur of a Bach Sarabande, no need to show off with the gale force winds of the Gigue or Courante, just settle into the depth of the moment.
And then appeared on the screen a haiku which instantly became my favorite:
The snail crawls
Two or three feet—
And the day is over.
I vowed that this would be my guiding image and …Oops! Damn! I’m late for school!!!! Bye!!!!