Haiku for an uplift

Well, it’s been a week. (I seem to say that a lot.) And that means writing haiku to bolster my spirits. I’ve been working seven days a week (doesn’t everybody nowadays?), celebrated a wedding anniversary, marked the 89th birthday of my father who crossed over 19 years ago, and just tried all manner of strategies to keep my head above water. So here you go! If these little guys bring you any peace, comfort, or joy, I’ve done my job for another week. May you be calm and blessed.

Namaste,

Jason

5216
Let today be a
Peace, Love, Light, Healthy, Happy,
Groovy kind of day.

5217
Who you choose to be
Is entirely your call;
Not a group project.

5218
We become our thoughts;
Our thoughts become our actions;
Actions, character.

5220
I brake for flowers,
Good food, sunrises, rainbows,
Slow turtles, and cats.

5221
Dance the cosmic dance,
Making up the words and moves
As you go along.

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The Tao of Kittens

5222
There are some people,
No matter how hard you try,
You’ll just never please.

5223
Mother used to say,
“Some people just won’t like you.
You mustn’t sweat it.”

 

 

 

 

5226
Seek help if needed.
Don’t suffer in silence while
Putting up a front.

5227
Live today today.
Put yesterday behind you
And tomorrow off.

5228
Try to breathe today.
Don’t let the grind get to you.
Hold to your stillness.

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Scary Halloween faces

The “Best” Dad in the World

My son, John Adams, makes us art all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. He just turned six. We get pictures of trees, flowers, rocks, birds, us, him, our families. You get the idea. It’s all somewhere between beautiful, heartfelt scribble, what is it?, and “now what the hell do I do with this?” We put some on the fridge. We lay away a lot in a box. We get overrun and start the process over. It is quite simply one of the joyous-griefs of parenting.

Recently, I reached for my yellow legal pad and realized I had inserted two of his more current drawings between the pages. I’m certain I did it in a moment of unconscious decluttering desperation. This time I stopped and looked at the pictures. The first picture was a lopsided heart with the inscription, “You are the best dad ever.” The second picture is of him and me walking outside on a sunny day with the words “Dad” and “Beeny” variously strewn about the page. I call him Beanie Bug at home or Beanie for short.  I really looked at his work this time, what he wrote, how he meant it. And I felt loved. And sad. Beanie Art20001

I’m not the best dad. I love him. I care for him often. I am usually the first face he sees in the morning and the second to last face before bedtime. I feed him, clothe him, and shuttle him back and forth to school. And he is with me for almost all of my work commitments. But I do frustrate easily at his unceasing chatter, his imperious self-righteousness, his inability to do for himself, his laziness, his petulance. And I let him know it, often, and in no uncertain terms. “You’re six, long hair. Get a job!”

Beanie Art10001

And yet, he still loves me. I’m the best dad ever. At least, in his eyes, on that day, at that moment. And he drew me a picture to tell me so. I couldn’t love him more, and I am unworthy.

So to all the rest of you out there, in the spirit of Paying it Forward, if you are feeling down about yourself, feeling unworthy of love, here’s some affirmations from our family vernacular to you, to lift your spirits a bit; to remind you that you are worthy of love and affection, even when you’re not meeting your own standard.

You are:

The best piece of chicken…

The longest game of UNO…

The warmest, fuzziest blanket…

The funniest animal video on YouTube…

The last lick of a Tootsie Pop, right before the chewy center, when the candy and Tootsie Roll are blended in your mouth just right…

The bestest hug…

The mightiest superhero…

The softest fur on the friendliest cat…

The kindest face when I first open my eyes in the morning…

And, of course, you are:

Bacon

 

Love and Hugs from the “best” dad,

Jason

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Beanie and I at the Caledon Butterfly release

Autumn Haiku Musings 2019

Happy Fall, Everyone! It’s been two months since I posted and it’s time I do something. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, dreaming, some would say procrastinating, and it’s coming out of me in the last few weeks as haiku. I know, my old standby. Anyway, enjoy, read, reflect, reject, take comfort in, or what have you. And as always, thanks for reading.

Namaste,

Jason

5188
Open wide your heart.
Embrace all inhabitants
Of this universe.

5190
Take back what is yours.
Take a vow to reclaim your
Personal power.

5192
Today, you’re stronger.
Today, you’re more in control.
Today, you stand tall.

5193
Part of the “Good Fight”
Is educating oneself
How to fight better.

5194
Each day is a gift;
A Present Moment is time.
Use each day wisely.

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Flamingos in the Mist

5195
People: just two kinds:
Those who fear and don’t do, and
Those who fear and do.

5196
Read voraciously,
Open-hearted and open-minded;
Absorb the masters.

5197
Know when to hold’em,
Fold’em, walk away, and run.
Thanks, Kenny Rogers.

 

5199
Don’t care what they think.
Don’t keep up with the Jones’s.
Just run your own race.

5200
The art you create
Is a reflection of you,
And your soul’s cravings.

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A joyful family moment at Belvedere Plantation

Musings in Haiku-time

It’s early summer and I’m busy (who isn’t?) and I’m just feeling the need to share some new haiku. I thought after I’d written 5,000 that maybe, just maybe, I’d put the bug behind me. I guess not. Anyway, enjoy, thanks for reading, and have your best possible day.

Namaste,

Jason

5178
Good and Bad exist,
Whether God or Man made them
They exist nonetheless.

5179
Know that rewards come
When the naysayers say “no”
But you respond “yes.”

5180
Making enemies
Is sadly part of the game.
There’s always a foe.

5181
It’s far too easy
Too acquiesce in defeat.
It’s hard to stand strong.

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Don’t let the aliens get ya!

5182
There’s always someone
Less fortunate than yourself.
Fight on in their name.

5183
Lead by example.
Courage, integrity, grace:
They’re not unnoticed.

5184
Your son deserves the
Best you you can offer him.
Don’t squander his wealth.

5185
Faiths that focus on
Fear, division, and judgement
Don’t speak to my heart.

5186
Have you ever seen
A sick giraffe and uttered
“Now that’s a sore throat?!”

5187
“Where do we go next?”
the boy asked sitting by Dad.
“We go on,” my son.

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Fat Man and Little Boy

New Year, New Haiku (2019 Edition)

Dear Reader,

Happy New Year, 2019. It has been over 5 months since I connected with you. So much in my, and my family’s life, has changed. We live in a new house; we’re closer to our work; I have started a new job with the Stafford Regional Choral Society; Nancy is two chapter revisions away from defending her dissertation; John Adams is in Kindergarten; and there are many smaller, subtler changes and adjustments that have altered our lives since last writing. We are still packing and unpacking. We are still finding our footing in a new home. There has been less than a little time to be creative with the move, and then  into the holidays. But I am still here; we are still here. And I am still dedicated to my blog and my writing. So with that said, please enjoy these new haiku, written over the last few days; the first new writing I’ve done in awhile, and certainly the first writing I’ve done in 2019. Until, next time, thanks for reading, thanks for noticing me, and thanks for being a part of my life, online or other, in 2019.

Blessings, Bounty, and Bacon,

Jason

The New Year’s begun.
Will it bring big surprises,
Or more of the same?

We are our actions.
Inaction is an action,
A choice of no choice.

Character matters.
Your actions and words matter.
Children are watching.

Model behavior
You wish to come back to you,
For it will return.

We have adopted
A white lump of fat some say
Used to be a cat.

Shadow set to spin

The road up is hard.
The road down all too easy.
Which road are you on?

No resolution
Can survive January
Without discipline.

I love New Year’s Day:
We resolve, renewed, hopeful;
Tabula rasa.

A cool blast of change
Blows with a wintry crispness
Across our country.

 

Pray for each other.
Listen to each other.
Love one another.

The family on Christmas Eve, 2018

Last New Haiku in an Old Home

Well, here we are: less than ten days away from moving into a new home we are blessed to have been offered, but the sadness and nostalgia of the moment is competing with the excitement, challenge, and exhaustion of a major move; even one just across town to convenient Fredericksburg. Our little 9-room idyllic rancher in King George, VA has been mine and Nancy’s home for eight years. It was our first home together. While in it we became engaged, married, pregnant with John Adams, gave birth and raised him for almost five years. I received my MFA. She all but completed her doctorate. We adopted our beloved cats, Duke, Ceyde, and Shadow. We leave our hearts behind with Ivan, Scoutie, Kisaki, The Nix, and many, many fish. We have borne illnesses and celebrated Openings and successes. We have as many memories as the clutter that we seek to escape. Who knows what comes next. Hopefully, we are trading the good for the great, the inconvenient for the convenient, the isolation for community. Only time will tell. So much to do before and after the move. We are so truly excited. Well, excited and scared. Anyway, enjoy the haiku, draw strength or insight from them if you find them worthy, and we’ll talk soon.

Namaste and may your life be one of exciting change,

Jason

 

 4776
Most differences
Can disappear with the words,
“But I accept you.”

4777
Be reliable.
Be someone they can count on
Even when they’re not.

4779
Animals know us;
They perceive our fears and moods
In ways we can’t hide.

4780
Attention expands
Those things which we put it on.
Where is your focus?

4781
Meditate daily
On your unique perfection.
You’re like no other.

 

DSC00672

First Forsythia of Spring

4782
In adversity
The most gorgeous flowers bloom.
Seek out mud puddles.

4783
I am perfect health.
I am perfect abundance.
I am perfect love.

4784
Why are you waiting?
With each passing year you age!
Take those risks right now.

 

4785
There’s only one way,
And that is the way forward.
There’s no going back.

4786
Seek the difference
Between opinion and fact,
Between spin and truth.

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Our home in King George, VA (2010-2018)

Haiku – Late May Musings – All is Perfect

The school year’s ending. Life is crazy busy as we all gear up for summer. Change is in the air. Pause and appreciate the accomplishments of the last few months, and of your place in the universal whole. Take a moment to glance through my haiku below, and remind yourself that you are perfect. All is as it should be. And as changes arise they too are part of the ever-evolving and expanding perfection of the universe. And remember…breathe.

Namaste,

Jason

 4763
Within or without,
The Source of All surrounds us.
We’re part of the Whole.

4764
There is only now.
Whatever you do with now
Defines the next now.

4765
Rejoice and be glad,
For God made you as you are,
Perfect and unique.

4766
Christians, Muslims, Jews,
Buddhists, Hindus, Confucians,
Taoists, Pagans, Love.

4767
I have a strong heart;
It beats in empathy for
Myself and others.

 

IMG_1441

Caledon riverscape

4769
When we help others
We reveal our best nature.
Service is godly.

4771
The mind’s eye sees all.
Though words can deceive the world,
Souls know only truth.

4773
Grasp infinity
With your warm, mortal tendrils,
Yearning to know both.

 

 

4774
Unclutter your soul.
Discard the broken pieces
Of the half-lived life.

4775
Love that which loves not.
Love that which knows only fear.
These are our burdens.

IMG_1428

“I can do anything!”

Early May Haiku – Breathe

We’re all so very busy. Stop. Breathe. Meditate. Read my ten little haiku below. Meditate on one of them. If that brings you a few minutes of peace today I will have done my job. Good luck and thanks for reading.

Namaste,

Jason

4731
All realities
Were first dreamt upon before
Manifesting them.

4748
Listen to silence,
It speaks peaceful and profound
Of love, always love.

4750
Life is a struggle
Between the forces of Light
And those of Darkness.

4751
Life’s dualistic.
To assume there is evil
Is to assume good.

4752
How many people
Do evil in ignorance,
Blind, or in denial?

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Pink Flowering Dogwoods

4753
Anger solves nothing.
It’s but a conduit to
Higher emotions.

4754
Invest in yourself.
Make self-development a
Recurrent focus.

4757
Do what you can do
To be a better person,
One change at a time.

4761
The Keys to Success:
Vision, Passion, Persistence,
Doing what it takes.

4762
You are a unique
Expression of the Divine.
Cherish your Being.

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The towering trees of Caledon State Park

Late March Haiku/Such a Long Week!

This week was a long, LONG week! On Friday, Nancy and I drove to her parents home outside of Philly and had dinner. On Saturday, Nancy and I went to our 15th consecutive Philadelphia Flower Show to celebrate our First Date Anniversary.

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Me and a Flower Show cow

On Sunday, I drove to Stafford, VA to conduct a three-hour rehearsal for the choir of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. On Monday, I went to the First Dress Rehearsal for Hunchback. On Tuesday, I had unsuccessful blood work done, taught lessons, and went to the Final Dress Rehearsal of Hunchback. (Hunchback opened successfully on Weds at the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in Fredericksburg and I’m very proud of all the choir’s hard work and our involvement in the production, but I wasn’t in attendance.) On Weds., I had successful blood work done, a doctor’s appointment, taught piano, and conducted two handbell rehearsals. On Thursday, I taught voice and took our cat, Duke, for enema surgery to remove the impacted feces from his swollen colon. On Friday, Nancy and I went to Black Panther. On Saturday, I received the lab results from the blood draw, which were fine, but a stressful wait, and then I drove to the West Virginia border to perform in a murder mystery with Murder Mysteries Will Travel. Sunday morning, my Adult Choir performed two pieces and then Nancy and I drove to Baltimore to have dinner with my in-laws and collect my wayward, vacationing son.We drove home Sunday night and I pretty much collapsed.

It’s Monday and I’m exhausted. But if I could do all that, surely you can do anything.

Enjoy the haiku and hopefully I’ll essay again soon.

Namaste,

Jason

4720
No life is perfect.
Handling the imperfections
Defines character.

4721
You have the power.
You can make a difference.
You can change the world.

4722
Wake up each morning
Determined to make the world
A little better.

4723
Being a success
Starts with a good attitude.
This is no secret.

4724
Make a difference.
I can’t tell you what or how.
That’s yours to decide.

4725
How can you deny
The interconnectedness
Of all existence?

4727
Time’s always fleeting.
So many untraveled roads.
Make quick, wise choices.

4728
Live in gratitude.
Whatever you possess you
Could always have less.

4729
In every way
Take responsibility
For your life and health.

4730
Just hold your head high,
Forgive them their trespasses,
And keep on smiling.

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Rows of spring flowers – my favorites – at the Flower Show

Out of the Shadows – Haiku!

I have not written a blog post since before Thanksgiving, and even then it was haiku and not prose commentary. I have been busy. I have been tired. The country is upside down and so many struggle daily to not believe we are in a post-optimistic world I fall prey to this just as much as the next compassionate soul and frantically cling to my belief that we as a world can weather anything and that good can come from bad. If only it would come sooner than later. Until I choose to write again (which I also hope will be sooner than later) here are some haiku from the vault – from 2016 – to post and to keep me, and hopefully you, going. To hanging in there!

Namaste,

Jason

4679
If you’re reacting
Rather than acting on life,
You’re not in control.

4680
If you’re struggling
Look for ways to change your life,
Not someone to blame.

4681
Curb your addictions.
They are pathways to disease
And unhappiness.

4685
May the winds of change
Blow in support of freedom
And enlightenment.

4687
Do the best you can,
Knowing that probably you’ll
Crash and burn most times.

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Across from Independence Hall at a magnificent wedding reception

4688
Light hides in darkness.
Also, the reverse is true.
Darkness hides in light.

4689
Know that each person
Is living the best they can
By rules they’ve been taught.

4691
A sin in private,
That nobody knows but you
Still affects your soul.

 

 

4693
Cultivate wonder.
There’s so much to see, do, know,
How could you be bored?

4694
Alone with my thoughts,
I contemplate life, death, love,
Peace for all mankind.

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John Adams and Shadow posing along Lee Drive