In its most simplified English form, Haiku is a short, non-rhyming poem that consists of three lines: the first line contains five syllables, the second line contains seven, and the third line contains five. 5-7-5
Back in 2009, my brother Jef, my mom, my aunt Sally, my daughter Karlie, and I had a crazy Haiku email day. I think Jef started it, with an early morning email that contained a Haiku about exercise equipment:
Iron, cold and hard
He who practices often
Will attain great strength
I responded with
strange strange little man
my bro has always been odd
now over the edge
It went on all day long, back and forth, with email Haikus about every topic from Michael Jackson’s glove to my dad’s new barbecue to the cold remedy Zicam! It was fun and zany and silly.
I hadn’t given much thought to Haiku since then, but recently I ran across a couple of Soul Pancake videos about happiness. Once again, according to cited studies, happiness seems to be linked to gratitude.
Over the years, I have tried various gratitude practices, from keeping a gratitude journal, to gratitude meditations, to daily discussions about gratitude over dinner. None of them have stuck, but every now and then I start up again.
One of the Soul Pancake videos featured interviews of people from all walks of life discussing what happiness means to them. The Soul Pancake people asked viewers to respond in the comments with what their idea of happiness is… in Haiku!
It was a very random idea, but of course it reminded me of our crazy email Haiku day, and inspired me to try yet another gratitude practice in the form of daily gratitude Haikus. I decided to start writing a little Haiku every day about something I am thankful for that day, and incorporate it with art in my Documented Life Project (DLP) journal.
A few days after that, I saw another article about gratitude, along with the suggestion of keeping a gratitude calendar, on which you jot down one little thing (or more) each day that you are thankful for. So on days I feel inspired, I write a Happiness Haiku, and other days I just jot an entry on my Daily Gratitude Calendar, both of which are sitting within easy reach on my desk in my DLP journal.
I don’t know how long it will last, since it’s hard to keep up with all these on-going projects. But so far, having them in front of my face, all colorful and inviting, has been inspiring me to keep up with my latest gratitude practice.