Friday, December 28, 2018


Cranking along, enjoying the mini challenge of one haiku per day, I addressed everything from our ill-behaved President to the 200th anniversary of THE Christmas carol.

Dec. 22
hope a lump of coal
in your stocking ruins the golf
naughty selfish boy
Dec. 23

smoke of wood fire
smells like home to primal noses
as Silent Night to ears

Oh, yes--I was having a lot of satisfying creativity and community writing #haikuforhope, and then on top of my injured foot, which wasn't getting better, came this:

Dec. 24

high holiday
laid low by fondue and flu
gentle morning joy

I'm blaming the flu shot I got last Saturday, which I did only to pass the time more productively while I waited in an urgent care center for an x-ray which might show why my injured foot wasn't getting better.  I haven't been terribly ill--but it does feel like every single 2nd grade germ of 2018 has just been waiting for an entryway, and the little hole where the flu shot went in was it.  My Killer Immune System, of which I am still very proud, has been working overtime, but suddenly I needed NOTHING on the horizon.

Dec. 25

music of the season
jangles, twitterjabber jars
now for long quiet

And I also came to realize that all that hanging around on Twitter liking things was getting in the way of my real intent for this break, which was to read some books.  So I just decided to stop.  Just like that.  So today, here are the last of my #haikuforhope and me experimenting with a challenging philosophical conundrum: quitting shit.  [Pardon my rhyming.]

The question I'm wrestling with is: Where is the line between dependability and flakiness?  What is the ratio of external appearances to internal integrity in that calculation?  When is it compulsion and when is it commitment?  Can you be a good person (and I think I know what that means, having watched all of THE GOOD PLACE so far) if you quit something you promised, or even just intended--to yourself or others--that you would do?  Is it okay to not do things because you don't feel like it?  What kind of lesson is that to teach your children? And most fundamentally,

When is enough enough, and why would this be so hard for me to figure out?

Dec. 28

it is my son who
"has trouble stopping," I thought
tyrant intentions

Donna JT Smith is our round-up host on this endingbeginning Poetry Friday of the year.  See you in 2019!

UPDATE 1 HOUR LATER: As always there is wisdom to be found at Tabatha's blog The Opposite of Indifference.  Here's a quote I just found in her Christmas Eve post, which seems to suggest starting from a position of NOT doing things:
Never compose anything unless the not composing of it becomes a positive nuisance to you.
~Gustav Holst



  1. By the power vested in me (by nobody), I hereby absolve you from any guilt you feel from quitting. Hope you feel better soon.

  2. Perhaps the key is not to think of it as "quitting" but as changing direction? I'm losing track of who wrote which haiku, but was it yours that was about the weight of maintaining traditions you started once upon a time? I sense a trend...Either way, I second Ruth's absolution and her wishes that you feel better soon.

  3. Heidi, I have just creepily followed you all around the blogosphere leaving comments just after yours. I feel as though we are sitting next to each other on our laptops. Want a cup of tea?

    1. Thanks, Ruth--I'd love one! Yes, that happens sometimes. I wonder if it's also 8am in Haiti...and I look forward to meeting you on your home turf sometime, actually. In fact maybe this year. Can my spouse and I come visit? Nous parlons francais; how far will that get us?

    2. Yes, same time in Haiti. And yes, come visit! French gets you quite a way in the city, and speaking French makes learning Kreyol much easier! Byenvini!

  4. You ask one of the most essential questions of existence: Where is the line between dependability and flakiness?
    Wish I knew. I've spent far to many hours surfing for junk food for my brain instead of settling down and writing. I've promised today that I will write, industriously.
    I've so enjoyed your haiku...a peek into your thoughts and reactions to the world. Even if you are've done good. Well done, you.

  5. I was finally sucked back into the writing vortex yesterday after floundering around unsettled. And of course I feel like I wasted five precious days. Sometimes it just happens and sometimes it doesn't. The universe does as it pleases. In 2019 I'm going to let it do it's sweet thing. -- Christie @

  6. After all the BUSY, I found taking a bit of time for the writing helpful, but you are in a different place with the teaching days, hard to find time for it all. I enjoyed Tabatha's quote, too, something each might consider for the new year. Hoping you are better as each day comes, Heidi. I love the word "twitterjabber"! Happy New Year!

  7. Heidi, I certainly hope that you are feeling better. I decided this vacation to celebrate and savor each moment with my grandbaby as I should so you do what is best for you the rest of this holiday. I will admit that has been delightful hearing your thoughts on life. Dec. 22nd's haiku is a hoot. Your snarkiness is a God-send but take care. Those little 2nd graders need your energy after the holidays. Happy New Year.

  8. Ugh to feeling lousy after a flu shot! How is your foot?
    Silent Night is 200 years old?
    There are a million opinions about whether to wait for the muse or hunt it down...
    If I have a deadline, I hunt it down. If it is my choice, it depends. I tend to be an "I do what I want" kind of a gal, as long as I am not inconveniencing somebody else.

  9. Sometimes things just get in the way of being you. Push aside what you can control. Then you have strength for what you have no control over. And don't even THINK about feeling guilty. That's one of those "what you can control" things to push aside, so you can take care of the rest.

  10. So much good advice here. I knew a Bishop once who said “Love God and do what you please.” Be well and be ok with who you are. It is enough.

  11. The questions you pose are very thoughtful, Heidi. I think the quote you included is fitting. When the purpose becomes unclear, it's perhaps time to re-evaluate. That's my take on it anyway. I enjoyed your poems, and I do hope you are feeling better!

  12. First of all, I think you can turn the Holtz quote on its ear: Never stop anything unless the doing of it becomes a positive nuisance.

    And then there's this:
    The writer Elizabeth Gilbert explains why there’s no such thing as a balanced life:

    To say that someone has found the secret to a balanced life is to suggest that they have solved life, and that they now float through their days in a constant state of grace and ease, never suffering stress, ambivalence, confusion, exhaustion, anger, fear, or regret. Which is a wonderful description of nobody, ever. . . . The world is like a dropped pie most of the time. Don't kill yourself trying to put it back together. Just grab a fork and eat some of it off the floor. Then carry on."

  13. Love the comments you've gotten to your own comments and haikus, especially Mary Lee's and Tabatha's. I would throw in follow your own lead, wherever it takes you… I like your coal haiku and the others too. Douse yourself in books and poetry perhaps it will shoo away some of the flu and your foot ailment, or at least satisfy some inner calling, feel better soon–And Happy New Year!

  14. First of all, I hope you are feeling better. Secondly, what happened to your foot? Finally, I have been struggling with these same questions recently, but haven't come up with any satisfying answers. I do love the Elizabeth Gilbert quote Mary Lee shared. So do what you need to do. The rest will still be there tomorrow (or even the day after that).

  15. Your lump of coal haiku is the perfect gift for its intended target. I hope you're feeling better, Heidi!

  16. Happy New Year! I hope you're feeling better; I haven't had much luck with flu shots myself.

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts about dependability and flakiness. You have captured the essence of a question I wrestle with, too--being my word vs. listening to my inner voice. Often, they're both the same, but not always! But I've gotten better about letting things go, especially when my body and mind are crying out for rest. I do tend to overcommit, though!

    I enjoyed the lump of coal haiku, too--as well as the rest. Thanks for sharing them.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!