this sounds terrible, i know, as if we had to be fed like babies. ah, but that's the point. like most adults, i suspect we feel responsible for the state of the world. we're constantly making decisions about afghanistan, the economy, who's the guilty party for yesterday's shootings. (and there are always shots being fired and people crumpling.)
in the old days, i'm assuming without newspapers, radio, tv, people lived much quieter lives. true, the barbarians might come over the hills. those in the next village could be scandalous, dangerous, even unpredictable. and peace a temporary truce between invasions. still, it's not like worrying about so many things we can't do damn thing about.
today, the governor declared a war on education and social programs. alas, i've always benefited from the first, and at an increasingly doddering age i am in need of the second. so, reading the headlines - the only news i allow myself - i became terrified for my survival. foolish? yes, it's foolish. unfortunately, i know i'm not alone.
living on the big stage, we're subject to stage-fright, especially when we decide what's the ideal world and can do nothing to create it. to have answers when nobody asked us, what could be more debilitating? what do i do in these situations? i turn to haiku. and why, cause every little poem chops up existence into just what i can handle.
the pot of beans
stinking up the house -
turn off the stove
there's a fine example of my own composing. since it's not from the japanese, i know it's inferior. i turn to my betters.
"it's much too long a day"
opening it's mouth
says issa, echoing my thoughts! and i like these free-form translations by stephen berg of ikkyu:
raging for the now hungry for it
crows rattle the air no dust
the crow's caw was ok but one night with a lovely whore
opened a wisdom deeper than what that crow said
alas, ikkyu not politically correct. too bad he didn't live in our enlightened age! he paid for it, certainly:
if i'm a demon here on earth
there's no need
to fear the hereafter
when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed solving the problems of life and death, turn to these tiny fragments of reality. like cockroaches they'll be the last species alive: