Adventure 276 ~ Write A Collection Of Haiku Poems [28]

rain haikuToday’s been a really grey and wet day here in Northern Ireland. When I took the dog out for his walk this morning, I looked up the sky, but it didn’t look far away at all : it was like it was nose-close. It was like it was threatening me! And it wasn’t just “one rain” :  rain, it seems, is a powerful collective, capable of synchronous action. It’s more of a “they” than an “it”.

It didn’t take long for the rain(s) to start. It wasn’t heavy but it was persistent enough to feel oppressive, to feel like it was playing with me, to feel like it was letting me know that it was in charge. That they were in charge.

It’s the kind of weather that would give you a headache, you know? The strangest thing of all though is that when you’re inside , the sound of falling rain is actually quite comforting!

What I’m learning through writing these haiku poems is that it’s the more familiar things (like rain) which I’m finding difficult to capture or “edge closer” too. To touch the nerve of the thing I’m describing, I’m having to cut through swathes of preconceptions and memories. I want to make sure that I’m describing the rain I experienced today, rather than old memories of rain, if that makes sense?

So today’s haiku is called Rain and you can read it here. You can also listen to me read it out loud on today’s video blog.

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 250 ~ Write A Collection Of Haiku Poems [16]

grassYesterday’s mushroom-hunting adventure was so exciting that I leapt out of bed this morning, keen to get to work on a fungus-based haiku. Only it seems that my imagination had other plans :P.

Returning from my early morning walk with my dog, I went into the kitchen and opened the blind to let in the light. The window looks out onto a patch of grass. The grass caught my eye : that patch of green stuff really looks like it’s doing exactly what it wants to, in spite of any gardener’s urges to control it or keep it in any kind of order.

I stood still, just gazing at the grass for a while, when a haiku just appeared  (that’s exactly how I experienced it, like a flash of inspiration!)

My research into haiku revealed that the traditional form was not only an attempt to capture the essence of something in the natural world, but was also a skillful way of drawing attention to an aspect of the human condition. In today’s haiku about grass, the words ring as true for grass as they do for any of us who have experienced the messier side of  human relationships.

It seems that this whole process of writing haiku poems is not only connecting me to nature, it’s also connecting me to my own nature. I’m beginning to see myself in nature. I’m beginning to really feel part of it. And because I’m beginning to feel part of it in such a real and alive way, it’s changing the way I feel about it. I’m in awe of it. I respect it. I think it’s clever, brilliant and beautiful. I think we should protect it, nurture it and nourish it. We should be in it more. I think it’s real. I think it could teach us a lot. I think it will help us to remember what we’ve forgotten.

You can read “Grass” here ; I also read my haiku out loud in today’s video-blog.

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 221 ~ Watch The Wheel Of Nature Turn

As a result of adventuring on a daily basis, I’m becoming more attuned to what’s happening around me. I’m more present (that’s for certain) , but something else is emerging too : a desire to notice change, a desire to track the cycle of Nature.

I have the impression that I’ve missed a great deal over the years. One minute the blossom is on the trees, the next the leaves are on the ground. Now, I’m going to slow right down and remember what I noticed as a child : the slow turning of Nature’s wheel.

Today, I watch the wheel turning on the farm 🙂 .

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 76 ~ Memory Feat [Day 1]

periodic tableToday marks the start of a new series of adventures! You’ll remember that at the end of my Space Odyssey, I decided that I wanted to increase both my imaginative capacity and my creative thinking ability. Chess has helped me to think “a couple of moves ahead” and entertain several possibilities all at the same time.

Today I’m moving into an adventure which will encourage me to visualise creatively and to remember huge amounts of information. I’m going to use an ancient method called the memory palace technique  to memorise the periodic table of elements over a period of days. I’m fascinated by this technique which links visual and spatial memory ~ I particularly like the conclusions which Josh Foer draws in his TED talk about feats of memory.

What I got from his talk was the following ~  by engaging more deeply with that which we aim to remember, we become more present to it. The more frequently we engage with the world around us in this way, the more present we become to life :  we begin to see life in its richness and it becomes more memorable. The more present we are to life, the more “memory-able” we become. This all ties in beautifully with what I’m getting out of my 365-day adventure project in terms of presence and connection, so I’m really looking forward to this next adventure series 🙂 .

In today’s video, I explain how to build a memory palace and I memorise the first 10 elements.

I am just going outside and may be some time 🙂 .