Sunday, December 31, 2023

Just because / Basho in winter

"Hmm -- or sometimes hm or hmmm"


Another year gone --
hat in my hand
sandals on my feet.

-- Basho


I appreciated what Montana's poet laureate, Chris La Tray, had to say on his Substack yesterday, including:

"...All this is a long way to suggest I think the community aspect of what winter can be – I mean slow community, quiet community, not parties and commitments and all the hubbub around how we typically gather – seems on the wane, just like the community aspect of everything else in this hyper-individualist culture. That marketed individuality is a wedge the cruel manipulators of our world seek to drive between us because they know we are stronger as a bundle than as a collection of singles, so the distractions keep coming and coming and coming. Just look at the holidays: by the time the actual days of celebration arrive we are all so frazzled with the input of Everything that the last thing we want to do is be around each other. That’s tragic.

I didn’t set out to write an intentions piece yet here I am, sort of making one. I’d like to handle this differently in the coming year, figure out a way to be more in community than I have been … just a quieter, more relaxed, grateful kind of community, not a rambunctious and overwrought one, or one constantly based on planning projects or organizing more busy-ness. Ugh, it sounds awfully hard, though. If anyone has ideas, or examples of things you are doing, I’d love to hear them. I know this reads like a lot of rambling nonsense. I’m trying to figure out what to do too – I’m a guy who can count on one hand the number of visitors I’ve had at my house in ten years of living here – and I don’t have any answers. Perhaps you do.

Meanwhile, please take good care of everyone you can. There are a lot of relatives in our community who need us. We can do better at this ..."


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, am! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead. (NewRobin13)

Sabine said...

Thanks for reminding me that Hmm is an excellent response or comment that works every time!

dritanje said...

All best to you in 2024 Am. Is that sculpture of Basho? He always cuts through, anywhere, everything, I took a volume of his haiku with me recently, when travelling, and took a volume of his haiku with me, 49 or maybe it was 50 years ago, when I first went travelling long distance. Thank you for posting Basho!

am said...

Morelle -- I believe so. Here is where I found that striking image:

Robin, Sabine and Morelle: All the best to you in 2024.